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Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE):

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (or “IDEA”) all disabled children are entitled to a free, appropriate, public education, specific to their unique needs. 20 U.S.C. § 1412(c). Children with disabilities are entitled to a “free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services.” 20 U.S.C. §1400(d)(1)(A). In Rowley v. Hendrick Hudson Sch. Dist., the Supreme Court held that the basic floor of opportunity will be met when a child receives “personalized instruction with sufficient support services to permit the child to benefit educationally from that instruction.” 458 U.S. 176, 201-203 (1982).

The Third Circuit (New Jersey) has interpreted that to mean a program that it will “provide him with a meaningful educational benefit.” N.R. v. Kingwood Twp. 205 F.3d 572 (3d. Cir. 2000).

The Second Circuit (New York) has further defined that FAPE must be “tailored to meet the unique needs of a particular child.” Walczak v. Fla. Union Free Sch. Dist., 142 F.3d 199 (2d Cir. 1998).