What Is Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)

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Parents are equal partners in their child’s educational decision-making process. Providing parental input and concerns regarding enhancing the education of a child is vital. Independent evaluations often support parents’ opinions and can give parents a measurement or a system of checks and balances to ensure that the district’s focus for the child’s education is on track.

Recently, the New Jersey Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs issued guidance to clarify the New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:14 2.5 (c) 1 regarding IEE requests, because important parental rights guaranteed by federal law were not specified in the code. School districts are required to follow the guidance until the regulations are formally amended to comply with federal regulations. The guidance memo provides answers to frequently asked questions about IEEs and can be downloaded at. Check for Educational Evaluations in US at UT Evaluators

Why to choose an independent evaluation

Parents may choose to request independent evaluations for a variety of reasons, most commonly because they believe that the school district’s evaluation of their child was not “appropriate.” For example, they may believe that their child’s evaluation is not accurate or complete, that essential testing was not done, that the wrong tests were used, or that the results are not sufficient for the parent and the IEP team to decide if the child has a disability and what special services he or she needs.

Who pays for the independent evaluation

When parents request an IEE at public expense, the school district will have to obtain the IEE and pay for it unless the school district requests a due process hearing and the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) rules that an IEE is not necessary.In other words, the school district cannot simply refuse the parents’ request. It must either consent to the IEE at public expense, or request a due process hearing in an effort to convince an ALJ that the evaluation it completed was sufficient.

According to the New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:14 2.5 (c) 2 i, “Upon receipt of the parental request, the school district shall provide the parent with information about where an independent evaluation may be obtained and …the school district shall take steps to ensure that the independent evaluation is provided without undue delay.” Educational Evaluations in US visit here

Parents may also choose to hire someone on their own to conduct an Independent Educational Evaluation. In this case parents are responsible for the costs of an IEE. In certain circumstances the school district may be financially responsible for the IEE. If the school district does not have the personnel or resources to conduct an evaluation which an IEP team has determined is needed, the school district will have to obtain an independent evaluation at its own expense.

 

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