WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATIONS (IEE’s)
If your child’s school has either suspected or determined that your child has a disability requiring special education, then hopefully your child has been evaluated by your district. Federal regulations, which can be found here and here, outline how a school is required to conduct these assessments. If not done or done incorrectly, you may have grounds to obtain an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at the district’s expense.
For starters, a school district cannot evaluate your child without your informed written consent. This means they should give you sufficient information about the assessments (which assessments, the methods used to gather data and information). The district is also obligated to test in all areas, both academic and functional, in which the district suspects a disability. The assessment should also be conducted by someone who is qualified to give that specific test. If you think there are errors with the testing, you disagree with the results, or if the district refuses to conduct an evaluation, you may have the right to an IEE at the school district’s expense.
SIX THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR RIGHT TO AN INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION (IEE) FOR A CHILD WITH A DISABILITY
#1: An IEE is an evaluation conducted by a “qualified examiner” not employed by the public agency educating your child.
#2: You can ask your district to pay for an IEE if: (a) you are not satisfied with the school’s evaluation; OR (b) they refuse to conduct an evaluation.
#3. An IEE does not have to focus just on academic/cognitive levels but can pertain to any skill that impacts your child’s education including sensory needs, behavior, or other therapies.
#4. Its best to put your request for an IEE in writing.
#5. If you request an IEE, the school system must pay for it or initiate a due process hearing to prove that their decision or evaluation was appropriate.
#6. If you decide to pay for an IEE on your own, the school must discuss and “consider” the evaluation (but they don’t have to implement the IEE’s findings/recommendations.)
Consider the help of an ed. consultant, or special ed. lawyer to understand your child’s program and get the supports and services your child needs.
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