After the school district completes its evaluation, the parents may disagree with the findings or believe that the evaluation was not thorough. When a parent disagrees with the district’s evaluation, the parent may ask the district to pay for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) by an evaluator selected by the parents.
Parents may request an IEE for up to sixteen months from the date of the evaluation with which the parents disagree. The parents may choose any evaluator to conduct the IEE. The parents are not required to specify the reason why they are seeking an IEE. If a parent requests an IEE at district expense, the district must within five days either request a due process hearing before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals to show that its evaluation was appropriate or it must agree to provide the IEE at district expense.
If the school district files a due process complaint to request a hearing and the final decision is that the district’s evaluation was appropriate, the parent still has the right to an IEE, but only at personal expense.
When the district agrees to provide an IEE, the allocation of payment obligations between the district and parents will be based upon a sliding scale from zero to 100 percent depending on family income. Under Massachusetts law, the rate of payment for an evaluation is almost always lower than the actual cost charged by a private evaluator, and the parents may be required to pay the difference if they want to use the private evaluator’s services.
It often requires specialized knowledge and training to decide whether the district’s evaluation was appropriate. We have extensive experience with reviewing these assessments and have many professional contacts to assist us in reviewing these matters. We are also able to refer our clients to highly qualified professionals to provide independent educational evaluations.
If a school district has denied your request for an IEE, we are available to help. We understand the steps that are necessary to get your child the free appropriate public education he or she is legally entitled to receive.