Independent Educational Evaluation
A parent has the right to an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at district expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency. If a parent requests an IEE at district expense, the district must, without unnecessary delay, either file a due process complaint to request a hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate or ensure that an IEE is provided at district expense.
If the school district files a due process complaint to request a hearing and the final decision is that the agency’s evaluation is appropriate, the parent still has the right to an IEE, but only at personal, and not district expense. If a parent requests an IEE, the public agency may ask for the parent’s reason for objecting to the public evaluation. However, the public agency may not require the parent to provide an explanation and may not unreasonably delay either providing the IEE at public expense or filing a due process complaint to request a due process hearing to defend the public evaluation.
Essentially, when a parent requests an IEE, a school district has two options: (1) Grant the IEE, choose an assessor with the parent, and pay for it; or (2) Take the parent to due process to defend the district’s own assessment. The district can request an explanation from the parent as to why they disagree with the district’s assessment, but the parent is not required by law to provide such an explanation, and a school district cannot make the provision of an IEE depend on the parent providing an explanation.
The elements that constitute an inappropriate assessment are very child-specific, and can be extremely difficult to know. A review of your child’s cumulative school file will help us to determine the child’s apparent needs, and also allow us to review any and all assessments of your child to determine their legal sufficiency, and whether or not your child may be entitled to an IEE at district expense.
Also, if the school district has denied your request for an IEE and filed due process, contact an attorney quickly to preserve your rights and the rights of your child.
Special education law is complex; you may have many more questions that have not been addressed here. Feel free to contact us to discuss your child’s particular situation.