If you do not agree with the results of the individualized evaluation of your child, as conducted by the school system, you have the right to obtain what is known as an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). The questions and answers below are drawn from these sources: Right to Obtain an IEE (NICHCY Legacy), How to Obtain an IEE at Public Expense (California), and Independent Educational Evaluations (Wrightslaw).
How do I request an IEE?
The first step is to write a letter to the IEP team case coordinator or school administrator stating that you disagree with the school district’s assessment and are requesting an IEE at public expense. Although you may be asked to explain why you believe its assessment is inappropriate, you do not have to give any reasons for your disagreement. Also, the district may not use your refusal to explain your disagreement as an excuse for delaying their response to your request.
As with every request you make regarding your child’s education, it should be in writing and you should keep a copy of the request letter for yourself. See our webpage on Sample Letters for a template.
Is there a timeline for IEEs?
The district has seven calendar days to respond to a request for an IEE. The school may not unreasonably delay an IEE, and it must consider the results of the IEE when determining eligibility or developing your child’s IEP.
How many IEEs can be requested?
You have a right to only one IEE at public expense each time the school conducts an evaluation of your child and you disagree with the findings of that evaluation. You always have the right to have your child evaluated independently at your own expense.
Can the district deny my request for an IEE?
If you ask for an IEE at public expense, the school district only has two choices: 1) take the steps necessary to ensure that you get an IEE at no cost to you, or 2) file for due process and try to prove to an administrative law judge that their own assessment is appropriate. A due process hearing might be more expensive for a school district than simply agreeing to pay for the IEE. The district cannot simply ignore you or just tell you “no.”
What happens after the IEE is completed?
The results of any evaluation must be considered by the school system in making any decision with respect to providing your child with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The results may also be presented as evidence in a due process hearing.