If your child receives special education services, you have probably had this experience:
2. Set up a meeting to speak to your child’s IEP Team. If you have all the evaluation reports, but you still don’t feel they are accurate, express your concerns and ask for more information. You may want to ask questions about the evaluations that were used, and the team may be able to give more insight about how the data helped them determine your child’s needs. If you still disagree with the results, let them know specifically what you don’t think is right. You may be able to come up with other solutions for services and supports that will help your child succeed by talking it out.
3. If you have outside evaluation results, you can share them with the team. The school does not have to accept the results of outside assessments, but they do have to consider them.
4. If you still feel your child is not accurately reflected in the school’s evaluation results, write a letter to request additional testing. Be specific about what areas you think need addressed. The school may not agree to conduct more tests, but it is good to have this in writing.
5. If you still don’t agree with the school’s evaluation, you have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). Read more about IEEs below. An IEE must be requested in writing. You can use the example below to help you write your letter, just copy the letter and paste it into a word document and fill in the blanks with your information.
City, State, Zip Code
Daytime telephone number
Name of Special Education Administrator
Name of School
City, State, Zip Code
(Special education director’s name),
My child, (child’s name), is in the (__) grade at (name of school). S/he recently received a special education evaluation.
I received the evaluation reports on (list the date). I do not agree with the results.
I am requesting that my child be independently evaluated in the following areas:
(List areas you want the independent evaluation done in.)
Please provide me a list of independent evaluators in the area so I can make arrangements for the evaluation to take place. I also need a letter stating that the school system will be paying for the evaluation to take with me when I take my child for the evaluation.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at (your phone number). I look forward to hearing from you about this request by (give a date five business days out). Thank you for your help.
An IEE is an Independent Educational Evaluation that is conducted by a professional that the parent chooses, who does not work for the school.
If the school agrees to provide an IEE, the school system pays for it. If the school does not agree that an IEE is necessary, they must file for a due process hearing to show that the evaluations they’ve already conducted were appropriate.
WHAT THE LAW SAYS:
Independent Educational Evaluations
34 CFR § 300.502
As described below, you have the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) of your child if you disagree with the evaluation of your child that was obtained by your school district. If you request an independent educational evaluation, the school district must provide you with information about where you may obtain an independent educational evaluation and about the school district’s criteria that apply to independent educational evaluations.
Independent educational evaluation means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the education of your child.
Public expense means that the school district either pays for the full cost of the evaluation or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to you, consistent with the provisions of Part B of the IDEA, which allow each state to use whatever state, local, federal and private sources of support are available in the state to meet the requirements of Part B of the IDEA.
Parent right to evaluation at public expense
You have the right to an independent educational evaluation of your child at public expense if you disagree with an evaluation of your child obtained by your school district, subject to the following conditions:
1. If you request an independent educational evaluation of your child at public expense, your school district must, without unnecessary delay, either: (a) file a due process complaint to request a hearing to show that its evaluation of your child is appropriate; or (b) provide an independent educational evaluation at public expense, unless the school district demonstrates in a hearing that the evaluation of your child that you obtained did not meet the school district’s criteria.
2. If your school district requests a hearing and the final decision is that your school district’s evaluation of your child is appropriate, you still have the right to an independent educational evaluation, but not at public expense.
3. If you request an independent educational evaluation of your child, the school district may ask why you object to the evaluation of your child obtained by your school district. However, your school district may not require an explanation and may not unreasonably delay either providing the independent educational evaluation of your child at public expense or filing a due process complaint to request a due process hearing to defend the school district’s evaluation of your child.
You are entitled to only one independent educational evaluation of your child at public expense each time your school district conducts an evaluation of your child with which you disagree.
If you obtain an independent educational evaluation of your child at public expense or you share with the school district an evaluation of your child that you obtained at private expense:
1. your school district must consider the results of the evaluation of your child, if it meets the school district’s criteria for independent educational evaluations, in any decision made with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to your child; and
2. you or your school district may present the evaluation as evidence at a due process hearing regarding your child.
Requests for evaluations by administrative law judges
If an administrative law judge requests an independent educational evaluation of your child as part of a due process hearing, the cost of the evaluation must be at public expense.
School district criteria
If an independent educational evaluation is at public expense, the criteria under which the evaluation is obtained, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria that the school district uses when it initiates an evaluation (to the extent those criteria are consistent with your right to an independent educational evaluation).
Except for the criteria described above, a school district may not impose conditions or timelines related to obtaining an independent educational evaluation at public expense.