38 CFR 18.433 - Free appropriate public education.
(a) General. A recipient that operates a public elementary or secondary education program shall provide a free appropriate public education to each qualified handicapped person who is in the recipient's jurisdiction, regardless of the nature or severity of the person's handicap.
(b) Appropriate education.
(1) The provision of an appropriate education is the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that:
(i) Are designed to meet individual educational needs of handicapped persons as adequately as the needs of nonhandicapped persons are met; and
(ii) Are based upon adherence to procedures that satisfy the requirements of §§ 18.434, 18.435, and 18.436.
(2) Implementation of an Individualized Education Program developed in accordance with the Education of the Handicapped Act is one means of meeting the standard established in paragraph (b)(1)(i) of this section.
(3) A recipient may place a qualified handicapped person or refer that person for aid, benefits, or services other than those that it operates or provides as its means of carrying out the requirements of §§ 18.431 through 18.439. The recipients remain responsible for ensuring that the requirements of §§ 18.431 through 18.439 are met with respect to any qualified handicapped person so placed or referred.
(c) Free education.
(1) The provision of a free education is the provision of educational and related services without cost to the handicapped person, parents or guardian, except for those fees that are imposed on nonhandicapped persons or their parents or guardian. It may consist either of the provision of free services or, if a recipient places a handicapped person or refers that person for aid, benefits, or services not operated or provided by the recipient as its means of carrying out the requirements of §§ 18.431 through 18.439, of payment for the costs of the aid, benefits, or services. Funds available from any public or private agency may be used to meet the requirements of this subpart. Nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve an insurer or similar third party from an otherwise valid obligation to provide or pay for services provided to a handicapped person.
(2) If a recipient places a handicapped person or refers that person for aid, benefits, or services not operated or provided by the recipient as its means of carrying out the requirements of this subpart, the recipient shall ensure that adequate transportation to and from the aid, benefits, or services is provided at no greater cost than would be incurred by the person, parents or guardian if the person were placed in the aid, benefits, or services operated by the recipient.
(3) If placement in a public or private residential program is necessary to provide free appropriate public education to a handicapped person because of his or her handicap, the program, including non-medical care and room and board, shall be provided at no cost to the person, parents or guardian.
(4) If a recipient has made available, in conformance with this section and § 18.434, a free appropriate public education to a handicapped person and the person's parents or guardian chooses to place the person in a private school, the recipient is not required to pay for the person's education in the private school. Disagreements between a parent or guardian and a recipient regarding whether the recipient has made a free appropriate public education available or regarding the question of financial responsibility are subject to the due process procedures of § 18.436.
(d) Compliance. A recipient may not exclude any qualified handicapped person from a public elementary or secondary education after the effective date of this part. A recipient that is not, on the effective date of this part, in full compliance with the requirements of paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section shall meet those requirements at the earliest practicable time, but not later than October 1, 1981.