Guidance for Families about Special Education Services
If you disagree with the results of a district evaluation, you may request an
Independent educational evaluation (IEE). An IEE is an evaluation conducted by a
qualified examiner who is not employed by the district responsible for the
education of your child. Public expense means that the district either pays for
the full cost of the evaluation or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise
provided at no cost to you. You are only entitled to one IEE of your child at
public expense each time the district conducts an evaluation of your child with
which you disagree. If you request information about an IEE, the district must
provide you with information about where you may obtain an IEE and what criteria
the examiner you choose needs to meet (the same criteria the district sets for
their own examiner). The district should also provide you with guidance about
how far you may travel to obtain your IEE.
While a request for an IEE is not required to be in writing, this is
encouraged as it can serve as documentation of your request. Districts must
either grant or deny your request within 15 calendar days of receiving the
- If your IEE request is GRANTED
If a district grants your request for an IEE it can require that your selected evaluator have the qualifications to conduct the IEE and it may impose reasonable geographic limitations. They may not set of conditions or timelines related to obtaining an IEE at public expense, including limiting your evaluator selection to those identified by the district. Once you have selected an independent evaluator who is qualified to conduct an evaluation, the district will need to contract with the evaluator, so that they can pay for the IEE.
- If your IEE request is DENIED
When a district denies your request for an IEE, they are taking the position that the district’s evaluation is an accurate and comprehensive one, providing all the information needed to establish eligibility and develop an appropriate educational program for the student, if appropriate. Should a district deny a request for an IEE, they must request a due process hearing to defend their evaluation. If the administrative law judge (ALJ) determines the district’s evaluation is appropriate, you still have the right to an IEE, but not at public expense. If the administrative law judge (ALJ) determines the district’s evaluation is not appropriate, the district must pay for the IEE.
Whether the IEE is provided by the District or paid for privately by a parent, the district must take the results of the IEE into consideration when determining a student’s services and placement. They are not obligated to follow all of the IEE recommendations, if they do not believe that the recommendations are needed to provide a student with a FAPE. However, the parent may present the IEE results as evidence at a later due process hearing regarding the student.