Special Education Tip-of-the-Day: Independent Educational Evaluations
by Stephanie Mendivil, ACDL Legal Intern (Summer 2019)
An independent education evaluation, or IEE, is an evaluation conducted by a qualified evaluator who is not employed by the school district.
An IEE can take place at any time at private expense. Parents may request an IEE at public expense, which means that the school district or charter school where the child is enrolled pays for the evaluation. Parents can request the IEE at public expense if they disagree with one of the school’s evaluations that is less than two years old. Parents may be entitled to one IEE at public expense for each evaluation conducted by the school with which the parent disagrees.
When a parent requests an IEE at public expense, the school has two options—either agree to pay for the evaluation or file a due process complaint within a reasonable time to prove that its evaluation is appropriate. If a school agrees to pay for the evaluation, the school may provide a list of possible evaluators to the parent. However, a parent is able to choose any private evaluator to conduct the assessment, so long as the evaluator meets the same criteria the school requires of their own evaluators. For example, the criteria may include the specific qualifications of the examiner or the location of the evaluation. Schools may not impose criteria on IEEs at public expense that do not apply to their own evaluations.
Once an evaluator has completed an IEE consistent with the school district’s requirements, the district must consider the results of the evaluation. However, the district is not required to agree to or adopt the recommendations made by the evaluator.
Tomorrow’s Tip-of-the-Day: Requesting an IEE
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