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Chapter 1: Information on Basic Rights

Chapter 1: Information on Basic Rights

Special education programs in California are governed by a combination of state and federal laws. Under these laws, school districts must provide each student with a disability with a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). FAPE means special education and related services that are provided at public expense and without charge, meet appropriate standards, include preschool through secondary education, and conform with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). [Title 20 United States Code (U.S.C.) Section (Sec.) 1401(9); Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations (C.F.R.) Sec. 300.17.] Special education must be provided in the least restrictive environment. This means that to the maximum extent appropriate, all students with disabilities should be educated with students who do not have disabilities. [34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.114.] In addition, FAPE requires that special education students are involved and make progress in the general education curriculum and toward achievement of their IEP goals. [20 U.S.C. Sec. 1414(d)(1)(A); 34 C.F.R. Sec. 300.320(a)(1).]