When You Disagree with the School's Evaluation


Your school has a duty under IDEA to identify children with disabilities, so it may be that the school initially approached you and requested to have your child undergo testing. This duty is called the Child Find provision of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). You also have the right to request that the school evaluate your child. But what do you do when the school provides an evaluation and you think it is not accurate?


You have a right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) under section 300.502 of IDEA each time the school conducts an evaluation of your child. This evaluation must be paid for by the district if you believe the results of the school's evaluation does not accurately reflect your child's abilities and disabilities, and if the district cannot prove that it provided sufficient testing. You can either make the request in writing, or you can orally request an IEE, then follow it up with an email to the school representative, summarizing what you requested so that documentation of the request is created.


An Independent Education Evaluation is completed by a qualified person who is not associated with the school or district. You as the parent may choose who you want to evaluate your child. The district should provide you with information about the process of being reimbursed for the IEE if the district agrees that an IEE may be warranted. Generally though, you will pay the bill for the evaluation, and then you will submit the receipt to the district, along with the documents. The district will then reimburse you, and the documents technically become the property of the district. Make sure you follow the processes outlined by the district.


The school district may want to deny your request for the IEE. If so it must first file a due process complaint that will cause a hearing to be set to review the matter. The district must show why the assessment done by the school was sufficient to evaluate your child. You as a parent must be able to demonstrate that the evaluation provided by the school was not sufficient. To prove this it may be necessary for you to hire an expert in the field - neuropsychology, behavior specialist (BCBA), speech and language pathologist, etc. If the Hearing Officer determines that the school's evaluation was not sufficient the Hearing Officer will direct the school to reimburse you for the IEE. In this case attorney fees may be reimbursable, but fees for expert testimony are not reimbursable.


Legal Information Institute is a wonderful resource you may wish to use to read regulations about the IEE. Here is a link: 34 CFR § 300.502 .


Here is a link if you would like to read more about your right to obtain an independent education evaluation: https://www.parentcenterhub.org/iee/ .



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