There is no doubt in my mind that when the law says you must provide free and appropriate education for a child they really mean free or appropriate.
The federal law describing FAPE only applies to children with disabilities. They have a legally protected right to a free and appropriate education. Apparently, they're the only ones.
Some states have legislation on the books establishing FAPE for all exceptionalities, including gifted. Mine is one of those. We fought for three years because the education was not appropriate. It's not free, either. We had to pony up a $10 materials fee on day one.
Well, and that assumes that they actually GET it. Big assumption, let me assure you.
I actually know of a child who received no curricular access at all
for nearly 12 weeks during the fall of that child's 1st grade year in my district. Why?
Well, because they had failed to prepare in advance for the fact that this child is blind.
That's right-- no specialized materials were ordered, no para had been hired, no audio equipment had been arranged for the classroom... no speech-to-text software, nothing.
In the bonus round, this came as a complete surprise not only to the child and parents-- but to the classroom teacher as well!
The child sat in the back of the classroom for months. You might think that the parents had maybe... surprised(?) the district, right? Not so. The district had KNOWN that this child would be entering 1st grade for two years.