If your child has a disability, it’s important to know your options in the public school system under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). Your child has a right to certain standards of education. If you feel your child is not being served by the school system, there is legal recourse. For example, if you disagree with the school’s evaluation of your child’s abilities or the school denies your child has a disability, you can request an Individual Educational Evaluation (IEE) at public expense.
What is an IEE?
As a parent, you can get a private evaluation of your child at any time and submit it to the school for consideration. The school must file that evaluation and consider it, but they do not have to accept the findings. An IEE is essentially a private evaluation, but it is paid for by the school. The school chooses the evaluator from an established pool of credentialed professionals connected with the district.
Can the school reject your request?
If the school does not want to grant the IEE, they can ask for a due process hearing to affirm their initial evaluation findings—and to avoid paying for the evaluation. The school must prove in this hearing that the initial evaluation was appropriate and accurate. If they cannot prove that, they will have to grant you the funds for a private evaluation (IEE).
Do you, as a parent, have any obligations at a due process hearing for an IEE?
Although you have the option to provide the reason for your objections to the evaluation, you do not have to do so. If you choose to state your case, consulting with a lawyer may be advisable to ascertain how to best present your concerns.
What happens after a due process hearing?
Either the school will have to pay for an IEE or the initial evaluation will stand. You will still have the option to pay for an independent evaluation if your motion for an IEE is rejected. The school cannot delay an IEE request for an unreasonable amount of time, so the process will move forward after the hearing.