IEE Attorneys in Los Angeles
Parents Have the Right to Request an Independent Educational Evaluation
We Can Help You Enforce Your IDEA Rights with the School District
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) passed by Congress in 1975, all children with special needs are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). All public school districts are obligated to evaluate children within their district boundaries and determine whether they have any disability, and decide what educational and other services need to be provided to those children. Such evaluations are usually conducted by school district personnel for free. Following the evaluation, the school district will develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to suit the child’s needs.
However, there may be times when a parent or guardian does not agree with the school district’s assessment of their child’s disabilities or needs. In those cases, you have the right to an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) of your child. An IEE is always conducted by an independent, non-school district examiner.
If you’re one of the many parents who are not satisfied with a school district’s evaluation, contact the experienced legal team at Pasadena’s Woodsmall Law Group. Our attorneys are dedicated advocates for children with special needs and their families. Call our offices for a free initial consultation by dialing (626) 440-0028. Our team is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Polish, and Spanish.
Why Request an Individual Education Evaluation?
Receiving another IEE is similar to getting a second opinion from a medical doctor. What makes an IEE so valuable is that the party making the evaluation has no conflicting interests. A school district employee may allow issues like budget constraints or manpower shortages to influence your child’s assessment. An independent IEE assessor will not have such conflicts. You should request an IEE if:
- You simply just don’t agree with the school district’s assessment and IEP.
- The school district’s assessment conflicts with your child’s doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist’s assessment.
- You don’t feel the school district’s assessment of your child’s needs and education strategy is comprehensive enough.
- Your child is not adequately progressing.
- You are incurring unreasonable financial hardship.
- Your child’s needs have changed, and the school district is not addressing those needs.
Important Things to Know When Requesting an IEE
- Parents aren’t required to give a specific reason why they’re requesting an IEE.
- An IEE cannot be performed by an employee of the school district.
- A school district may have a list of approved IEE evaluators, but a parent is not limited to that list. Parents can choose anyone they want to perform the IEE, as long as that evaluator meets the school district’s criteria.
- A school district cannot impose restrictions on an evaluator; that would prevent a parent from getting a truly INDEPENDENT evaluation.
- Federal law requires school districts to provide the parent with a written list of their criteria for an acceptable evaluator.
- If the school district denies a parent’s request for an IEE, the district must initiate a due process hearing “without delay.”
- There may be an occasion where the school district hires an independent evaluator to assess your child. In such a case, that assessment is still considered the district’s assessment, and thus, the parent still has the right to disagree with that assessment and request an IEE.
- You can request an IEE “at public expense,” which means the school district will be required to pay for it. The only way for a school district to get out of paying for an IEE is to initiate a due process hearing. In most cases, the cost of paying for an IEE is much less the cost of a due process hearing. Therefore, school districts usually will opt to pay for the IEE.
Why You Need an IEE Lawyer
The information above is just scratching the surface when it comes to getting an IEE for your child. Having a special education attorney can make the process of requesting and obtaining an IEE smoother and faster, allowing your child to get the help he or she needs to live a fulfilling life.
At Woodsmall Law Group, we are fully versed in state and federal special education statutes and have helped many Los Angeles County families successfully petition for IEEs. To get your child the education he or she deserve, guaranteed by the law, call our San Gabriel Valley office at (626) 440-0028 to schedule a free case evaluation.