Free Appropriate Public Education
This chapter examines the definition of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and shows how the meaning of FAPE has evolved. It reviews cases that have examined the FAPE principle, including the first special education case heard by the U. S. Supreme Court, Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson School District v. Rowley. A number of post-Rowley rulings, however, have held that technical violations of the IDEA may not violate the FAPE requirement of the IDEA if they result in no harm to the student's education. The Rowley and Endrew decisions have provided the framework for courts to determine whether students were provided with a FAPE. The IDEA now embraces research, progress monitoring, and demonstrated results for students with disabilities. The chapter offers guidance to school districts to meet this most important principle of the IDEA.