When Does the Failure to Implement Terms of an IEP Result in the Denial of a FAPE?

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Education Law Reporter


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, i.d.e.a., free appropriate public education, fape, idea, individualized education programs, iep, students with disabilities


The delivery of educational services to students with disabilities in public school districts is governed primarily by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and comparable state statutes. The IDEA requires school boards to make available a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all students with disabilities. Although the IDEA stipulates that a FAPE consists of any needed special education and related services, it does not establish any substantive criteria by which the adequacy of those services can be measured. The Supreme Court, in Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley (Rowley), interpreted the IDEA to require school boards to offer students with disabilities personalized instruction and support services sufficient to permit them to benefit from the education provided. The purpose of this article is to identify the three criteria required under the IDEA in fulfilling the statute's requirements by preparing adequate individualized education programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities. Rowley addresses only the first two of the criteria, leaving the third to be developed by subsequent federal court case law.


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