FAPE FAQs: Who's Responsible for Providing FAPE?

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January 2 , 2008

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 417
Subscribers: 55,381

In This Issue:

What is a Free Appropriate Public Education?

Who is Responsible for Providing FAPE?

What Should I Do when Goals & Objectives are Too Vague?

How Do I Document my Concerns when I Disagree with the IEP Team?

What Should I Do to Follow Up? The Rules of Adverse Assumptions

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More Resources from Wrightslaw

Access to Schools: Bd. of Education v. Rowley
Your Roadmap to FAPE: Evans v. Rhinebeck
Retained Child Entitled to FAPE:Cleveland Hgts v. Sommer Boss

FAPE May Require a Skilled Nurse: Garret F. v. Cedar Rapids

Passing Grades & FAPE: Community Consol Sch Dist v. John F.
 

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043

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Copyright 2007, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your website without explicit permission.

Happy New Year and Best Wishes for 2008. To start the new year right, we'll help you brush up on your knowledge about special education rights and responsibilities.

If you have a child with a disability, your child is entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Educationkids in line for school bus (FAPE).

Need answers to your most frequently asked questions about who is responsible for providing your child with FAPE?

Pete and Pam Wright have written a great article to explain:

  • who is responsible for providing FAPE
  • how to document your concerns about an inappropriate IEP
  • why you need to know the Rules of Adverse Assumptions
  • how to tape-record meetings
  • how to write letters to document your concerns
  • why FAPE does not mean "the best" education

forward to a friendPlease don't hesitate to share this issue with other families, teachers or professionals.

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What is a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)?

The purpose of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is "to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education...to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living..." 20 U.S.C. 1400 (d) special education law book

Open your copy of Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition to page 20. (Click here if you need to get a copy).

Read, then re-read, the purpose of IDEA.

In Who is Responsible for Providing FAPE? Pete and Pam provide answers to your questions about how to determine if your child's IEP is appropriate and provides FAPE.

The Courts have held that in order to receive FAPE, your child must receive "meaningful educational benefit" from services provided in the IEP.

How will you know if your child is receiving "meaningful educational benefit"? You must use objective information from tests that measure your child's knowledge and skills.

Read Who is Responsible for Providing FAPE? to learn why it is essential for parents to learn about tests and what they measure.

Read more articles about FAPE.

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Who is Responsible for Providing FAPE?

"My daughter has made little or no progress after years of special education. Her IEPs contain vague subjective goals and objectives. If our case goes to due process, is the school liable for not providing an appropriate education or, is this the responsibility of the parent who signed the IEP?"

The school is responsible for providing FAPE.

Who is Responsible for Providing FAPE? discusses your child's IEP as the roadmap that describes how the school will provide your child with FAPE. The IEP tells how FAPE will be delivered.

Has the IEP team denied one of your requests - then suggested you have unrealistically high expectations for your child?

Read the article for tips on successful strategies you can use if you have a disagreement with your child's IEP team.

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What Should I Do When Goals and Objectives are too Vague?
  • girl readingIs your child's IEP designed to meet her unique needs?
  • Will the goals prepare her for the future?
  • Do the goals guarantee improved outcomes for your child?
  • Does the IEP ensure the best program for your child?

Wrightslaw Note: Parents, advocates and evaluators cannot use works like "best" or "maximizing the child's potential" in discussions with school personnel. You'll find out why in Who is Responsible for Providing FAPE?

This article gives you The Four Rules for Parents - a must read for getting the appropriate services for your child.

Read this week's featured article. You'll learn what to do when the school says you "fully participated" by agreeing to goals and objectives that were too vague. You'll also learn what to do when they insist you must sign the IEP.

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How Do I Document my Concerns when I Disagree with the IEP Team?

group IEP meetingIf the IEP team develops a "take it, or leave it" attitude, put your concerns in writing.

Did you know the law requires you to make your wishes, concerns and objections clear?

In this article about FAPE, find out how to:

  • make your objections clear
  • take the Miss Manners approach to handle a difficult situation
  • tape-record the IEP meeting

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What Should I Do to Follow Up?

writing letterWrite a polite thank you letter. Yes! A thank you letter.

1. Describe what happened during the meeting.
2. Document your concerns.
3. Note what you requested.
4. Tell how your input was received by the IEP     team.

Read Who is Responsible for Providing FAPE? to learn the Rules of Adverse Assumptions.

In Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy Training Programs, participants learn the Rules of Adverse Assumptions.

Learning these rules and knowing how to use other tactics and strategies will help you resolve disputes before they get out of hand.

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Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

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