Special Education

AR 0430


Free appropriate public education (FAPE) means special education and related services that are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; meet the standards of the California Department of Education, including the requirements of 34 CFR 300.1-300.818; include appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education for individuals between the ages of 3 and 21; and are provided in conformity with an individualized education program (IEP) that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 300.320-300.324. (34 CFR 300.17, 300.101, 300.104; Education Code 56040)


FAPE applies to students who are suspended or expelled or placed by the district in a nonpublic, nonsectarian school. (34 CFR 300.17, 300.101, 300.104)


Least restrictive environment means that, to the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities, including individuals in public or private institutions or other care facilities, be educated with individuals who are nondisabled, including the provision of nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities. Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in the regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. (34 CFR 300.107, 300.114, 300.117; Education Code 56040.1)


Special education means specially designed instruction, provided at no cost to the parent/guardian, to meet the unique needs of individuals with disabilities including a full continuum of program options including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and other settings, and instruction in physical education to meet the educational and service needs in the least restrictive environment. (Education Code 56300, 56031)


Special education may include each of the following if the services otherwise meet the definition in the above paragraph: (Education Code 56031)


  1. Speech language pathology services, or any other designated instruction and service or related service, pursuant to Education Code 56363, if the service is considered special education rather than designated instruction and service or related service under state standards
  2. Travel training
  3. Career technical education
  4. Transition services for students with disabilities in accordance with 34 CFR 300.43 if provided as specially designed instruction, or a related service, if required to assist a student with disabilities to benefit from special education


Specially designed instruction means adapting the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of the student that result from the student's disability and to ensure access of the student to the general curriculum, so that the student can meet the educational standards that apply to all students in the district. (34 CFR 300.39)


Surrogate parent means an individual assigned to act as a surrogate for the parent/guardian. The surrogate may represent an individual with disabilities in matters relating to identification, assessment, instructional planning and development, educational placement, reviewing and revising the IEP, and in other matters relating to the provision of FAPE to the individual with disability. (34 CFR 300.519; Education Code 56050)

(cf. 6159.3 - Appointment of Surrogate Parent for Special Education)


Elements of the Local Plan


The local plan developed by the special education local plan area (SELPA) shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (Education Code 56205, 56206)


  1. Assurances that policies, procedures, and programs, consistent with state law, regulation, and policy, are in effect as specified in Education Code 56205(a)(1-22) and in conformity with 20 USC 1412(a), 20 USC 1413(a)(1), and 34 CFR 300.201
  2. An annual budget plan and annual service plan adopted at a public hearing held by the SELPA
  3. A description of programs for early childhood special education from birth through five years of age
  4. A description of the method by which members of the public, including parents/guardians of individuals with disabilities who are receiving services under the plan, may address questions or concerns pursuant to Education Code 56205
  5. A description of a dispute resolution process
  6. Verification that the plan has been reviewed by the community advisory committee in accordance with Education Code 56205
  7. A description of the process being utilized to refer students for special education instruction pursuant to Education Code 56303
  8. A description of the process being utilized to oversee and evaluate placements in nonpublic, nonsectarian schools and the method for ensuring that all requirements of each student's IEP are being met
  9. A description of how specialized equipment and services will be distributed within the local plan area in a manner that minimizes the necessity to serve students in isolated sites and maximizes the opportunities to serve students in the least restrictive environment


The local plan, annual budget plan, and annual service plan shall be written in language that is understandable to the general public. (Education Code 56205)


Each entity providing special education shall adopt policies for the programs and services it operates, consistent with agreements adopted pursuant to Education Code 56195.1 and 56195.7. (Education Code 56195.8)


(cf. 3541.2 - Transportation for Students with Disabilities)

(cf. 3542 - School Bus Drivers)

(cf. 4112.23 - Special Education Staff)

(cf. 5144.2 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process (Students with Disabilities))

(cf. 6159 - Individualized Education Program)

(cf. 6159.1 - Procedural Safeguards and Complaints for Special Education)

(cf. 6159.2 - Nonpublic, Nonsectarian School and Agency Services for Special Education)

(cf. 6164.4 - Identification and Evaluation of Individuals for Special Education)

(cf. 6164.41 - Children with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private School)

(cf. 6164.6 - Identification and Education Under Section 504)



approved: November 8, 2012 Sebastopol, California