Special Education: Independent Educational Evaluation

What if I disagree with an evaluation conducted by the school district?

You have the right to obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by your school district. When the school district agrees to pay for the IEE, the criteria under which the IEE is obtained, including the location and the qualifications of the examiner must be the same as the criteria that the school district would use when it does its own evaluation.

Who pays for an independent evaluation?

If you disagree with an evaluation conducted by the school district, you have a right to an independent educational evaluation at the school’s expense, unless the school district can prove its evaluation is appropriate or the IEE does not meet the school district’s criteria. If the school believes its evaluation is appropriate, it must initiate a due process hearing or pay for the IEE. If the school district initiates a due process hearing, a hearing officer will decide whether the school district’s evaluation is appropriate. If the hearing officer decides in favor of the school district, you may still obtain an independent evaluation, but you will have to pay the costs associated with the independent evaluation.

Do I need to inform the school district if I intend to seek an independent educational evaluation?

Although it is often helpful to consult with the school district when seeking an independent educational evaluation, you are not required to inform the school district in advance. Your decision to consult or not to consult with the school district will have no bearing on your right to ask that the independent educational evaluation be at no cost to you but instead paid by the school district.

If I inform the school district that I am obtaining an IEE because I disagree with the school district evaluation and expect the school district to pay for the evaluation, what is the school district required to do and how long may it take for the school district to respond?

The school district must, without delay; either agree to pay for the IEE or initiate due process procedures to defend the appropriateness of its evaluation.

Is the school required to accept the results of an independent education evaluation?

The school district must consider the results of any independent educational evaluation, including the one you pay for, when making decisions regarding your child’s educational program. However, the school district is not required to agree with or implement any or all of the results or recommendations of the independent educational evaluation. You may also submit the results of an independent educational evaluation as evidence at a due process hearing.

How do I find a professional or clinic to conduct an independent educational evaluation?

The school district must provide you with a list of qualified independent evaluators when you ask for an independent evaluation.[1]


[1]State of Connecticut, Department of Education, A Parent’s Guide to Special Education in Connecticut (2007) http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/PDF/DEPS/Special/Parents_Guide_SE.pdf.

 

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