Independent Educational Evaluations: What happens when the school refuses your IEE request?

[MUSIC PLAYING] If a parent requests an
independent educational evaluation, the public agency
may ask for the parent’s reason why he or she objects
to the public evaluation. However, the public agency may
not require the parent to provide an explanation and may
not unreasonably delay either providing the independent
educational evaluation at public expense or filing a due
process complaint to request a due process hearing to defend
the public evaluation. So you’re at an IEP team meeting
and you’re really looking forward to asking the
team for this independent evaluation, which you’re feeling
so strongly about and you’re feeling pretty
good about it. And you ask for it and
the team says, no. What do you do? Actually Julie, this is one of
those few areas of the special education laws, where the ball
is no longer in your court. The ball is now in the school
district’s court because by law, if the school district
refuses your request for an independent educational
evaluation, then they must without delay initiate a due
process hearing against you, which is unlike most
of the IDEA. Most of the IDEA says that you
have these rights as parents and if your school district
doesn’t agree to what you’ve requested, you have a right
to exercise your rights. In this particular situation,
it’s almost like the rules flip and the school now
has the obligation to take the next step. Right. So what do you practically
do at that point? Well you say, well I’m very
disappointed to hear that and you ask them to make sure that
their refusal is documented in the paper work of the IEP team
meeting on the prior written notice page. It’s important that
you ask for that. And then you say I expect that
you’re going to be initiating a hearing without delay. And you can also expect that
your administrator of that meeting may very well have no
idea that they are obligated to do this. It’s been my experience that a
lot of school districts are unaware of their obligation to
initiate a hearing without delay, but it is quite clearly
their obligation. And they say well no, we
don’t do anything. At that point I would say
you’re going to have to probably wait them out and see
if they do in fact call as an example perhaps their lawyer and
find out that they do have this legal obligation. Nothing may happen. You may wait weeks and no
hearing’s brought and you get the minutes of the meeting and
it’s clear that they refuse the independent evaluation,
but they haven’t done anything. And that’s when the next step
is to document that they haven’t done anything. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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