If you have suspected your child’s struggles in school are related to a learning disability, the next step is having the school evaluate your child to determine if they qualify for special education services or accommodations.
However, what if the school’s evaluation says your child does not have a learning disability? What if you disagree? Parents have the right to request an independent education evaluation (IEE) in these cases, but you must be prepared for the next steps in this process.
Two ways the school may respond
According to the California Department of Education, your child’s school might respond to your request in one of two ways. They might:
- Agree: In some cases, the school can accept your request and arrange an IEE at their expense – not yours.
- Disagree: The school may believe that its findings are correct. If they do, then they might file for due process. In this case, the district must prove that their evaluation was sufficient in order to prove that an IEE was not necessary.
Three steps parents can take
It can be frustrating to deal with obstacles to your child’s education. If you disagree with the findings of the school’s evaluation, it can help to:
- Ensure you understand the procedure to request an IEE
- Organize notes addressing the reasons you disagree with the school’s evaluation
- Seek legal guidance on how to move forward
It bears repeating that you have every right to ask for an IEE. This does not necessarily mean the school will agree to pay for it, but if they do not, that is not the end of the line. You have the option and the resources to advocate for your child’s needs and interests.