According to the Individual’s with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), all children are afforded the right to a free and appropriate public education. This means that irrespective of a student’s educational needs, under the law (i.e., IDEA), they are afforded the right to access a free and appropriate public education. At times, the extent of a student’s educational needs may extend outside of the range of educational services that their school district offers (e.g., students who may require a therapeutic day school placement, but their school district may not have a therapeutic day school within the district). In this case, the school district would still be responsible for meeting the educational needs of the students even if the student required an educational placement outside of their home school district. Visit FAPE online at for more information regarding this procedural safeguard.
Michael has been referred for special education services after teachers and his parents had tried several problem-solving efforts within his current school and classroom to help meet his educational needs. Results from Michael’s full case study evaluation suggest that he possesses behaviors consistent with an emotional disability and requires special education services for more than 50% of his school day in order to help meet his educational needs. Michael’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team decides that he requires a therapeutic day placement in order to meet his educational needs. An administrator within Michael’s home school district states that the school district does not offer a therapeutic day placement option for students and Michael must attend a placement outside of the county. This placement will cost over $7,000 per month, but the school has stated they can only pay $4,000 per month for an out of district therapeutic day placement. If you search out costs for this type of service you will find it is on the low end for a halftime placement. The school explains Michael is a new student this year and the cost was not budgeted for; the school district claims they simply do not have the money. To make this assignment more personable, the setting for this is in either the school district you currently live in or your childhood school district. In just two or three sentences, look up your school budget and let me know how Michael would fare in our district.
Cite dollars and what you believe the outcome of this would be in your own district- and is this the norm for all students across the country?
Based on what you have learned about FAPE, explain why or why not the cost-sharing for the parents is an acceptable solution for Michael.
Answer & Explanation
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