Ed_banner_left Ed_banner_right
U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans

Free appropriate public education or FAPE (Sec. 300.17)

Comment: One commenter stated that the requirements in Sec. Sec. 300.103 through 300.112 (Other FAPE Requirements) should be included in the definition of FAPE.

Discussion: The other FAPE requirements in Sec. Sec. 300.103 through 300.112 are included in subpart B of these regulations, rather than in the definition of FAPE in subpart A, to be consistent with the order and structure of section 612 of the Act, which includes all the statutory requirements related to State eligibility. The order and structure of these regulations follow the general order and structure of the provisions in the Act in order to be helpful to parents, State and LEA personnel, and the public both in reading the regulations, and in finding the direct link between a given statutory requirement and the regulation related to that requirement.

Changes: None.

Comment: Some commenters stated that the definition of FAPE should include special education services that are provided in conformity with a child's IEP in the least restrictive environment (LRE), consistent with the standards of the State educational agency (SEA).

Discussion: The definition of FAPE in Sec. 300.17 accurately reflects the specific language in section 602(9) of the Act. We believe it is unnecessary to change the definition of FAPE in the manner recommended by the commenters because providing services in conformity with a child's IEP in the LRE is implicit in the definition of FAPE. Consistent with Sec. 300.17(b), FAPE means that special education and related services must meet the standards of the SEA and the requirements in Part B of the Act, which include the LRE requirements in Sec. Sec. 300.114 through 300.118. Additionally, Sec. 300.17(d) provides that FAPE means that special education and related services are provided in conformity with an IEP that meets the requirements in section 614(d) of the Act. Consistent with section 614(d)(1)(i)(V) of the Act, the IEP must include a statement of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate with nondisabled children in the regular education class.

Changes: None.

Comment: One commenter recommended removing "including the requirements of this part" in Sec. 300.17(b) because this phrase is not included in the Act, and makes every provision in Part B of the Act a component of FAPE.

Discussion: Section 300.17 is the same as current Sec. 300.13, which has been in the regulations since 1977. We do not believe that Sec. 300.17 makes every provision of this part applicable to FAPE.

Changes: None.