How an Independent Education Evaluation Works
An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal document that lays out the supports and services that a school district will provide for a special education student. IEPs are covered by special education law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
School districts use various types of assessments to determine if your child qualifies for special education. These assessments will also be used to determine which interventions will be implemented by the district to ensure that your child with a disability is receiving Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment.
If you disagree with your child’s assessment, you have the right to request an Individual Education Evaluation (IEE). You may choose to pay for an IEE yourself, or you can ask the district to pay for it.
Who Pays for an IEE?
The district cannot ignore your request for an IEE. But they will often try to delay the process. If they don’t respond to your written request within 15 days, you can report them to the California Department of Education (CDE).
The district has two ways to respond when you request an IEE:
- Pay for the IEE.
- File for due process to prove that its assessment is appropriate.
Districts will often choose to pay for an IEE because it’s less expensive than filing for due process. But if they choose to file, you can still get the district to pay for the assessment if you can convince the judge that the district’s evaluation is inappropriate. You will want to have an experienced special education lawyer present for your hearing.
Types of IEE Assessments
The most common types of IEP assessments are for cognitive ability, academic achievement, behavior, functionality, and speech. But an IEE may be requested for an assessment that relates to any of the 13 learning disabilities or attention issues listed under IDEA. IEE assessments may include:
- Psychological evaluation
- Executive functioning
- Adaptive skills
- Developmental skills
- Speech and language
- Vocational assessment
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Achievement v. ability
- Classroom performance
Who Can Provide an IEE?
An IEE must be performed by someone who is not employed by the school district. The district is required to provide you with a list of potential IEE providers, but you can choose any professional who meets the district’s standards.
An IEE evaluator must possess the appropriate credential to administer an assessment. Examples of specialists who may administer an IEE include:
- Clinical psychologists for psychological and educational assessments
- Educational psychologists for education assessments
- Neuropsychologists for brain processing and functioning assessments
What Happens After the Assessment?
When the assessment is completed, you will be provided with a written report. The district must consider the results of an IEE. But they are not obligated to adopt all its recommendations. The district is legally required to give you prior written notice regarding how they intend to respond to IEE recommendations.
Questions About Your Child’s Special Education Placement?
If you’re not satisfied with your child’s special education placement, contact Woodsmall Law Group right away. We serve children with special needs and their parents in Los Angeles County, focusing on the San Gabriel Valley. We have been helping families make the most out of their educational opportunities for over 18 years.
If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s placement or the services they are receiving, please call (626) 440-0028 to schedule a FREE initial consultation. We speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Polish, and Spanish.