What is and isn’t covered under FAPE

ByAndrew M.I. Lee, JD

At a glance

  • FAPE stands for free appropriate public education.

  • The right to FAPE is a powerful legal right for kids with disabilities.

  • FAPE requires schools to provide special education to meet the unique needs of a child.

Federal law guarantees the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to kids with disabilities. That can include kids with learning and thinking differences. 

FAPE is a powerful legal right for students. Knowing what it covers can help parents and caregivers advocate for the services and supports their kids need. It can also help schools and families partner with each other.

The right to FAPE comes from the . Need the basics? Download a one-page summary of FAPE:

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)PDF

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    About the author

    About the author

    Andrew M.I. Lee, JD is an editor and attorney who strives to help people understand complex legal, education, and parenting issues.

    Reviewed by

    Reviewed by

    Bob Cunningham, EdM serves as executive director of learning development at Understood.