Federal law requires all states to provide a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities in their state. So what does “free appropriate public education” mean? Let’s take a look:
FREE – ALL students with disabilities will be provided an education at public expense. Parents of disabled children will not be required to pay any costs except for those normally paid for by students without disabilities as well (such as club or sports fees)
APPROPRIATE- disabled children are required to be evaluated by the state and given an Individual Education Plan (IEP) personally tailored to their educational needs. Any program of education given by the school will match their IEP and be crafted to help them succeed to their appropriate level based on their disabilities.
PUBLIC- Children with disabilities have the same right to attend public school as other children. This means that they attend the same schools as non-disabled peers and are under the system of public education of the state.
EDUCATION- Children with disabilities will receive an education that includes the services required according to their IEP, and this education will have the same goal as the education of non-disabled students: to prepare them for later education, including college, for the working world, and for living successfully on their own.
Remember, states are REQUIRED to provide this type of education to all disabled students!