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RESOLVING DIFFERENCES OF OPINION, DISAGREEMENTS, AND DISPUTES

Parent Disagreement with an Evaluation: Request for an Independent Educational Evaluation

A parent(s) has a right to an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense if the parent(s) disagrees with an AEA evaluation (i.e., an evaluation carried out or obtained by the AEA). An IEE is an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the AEA or LEA responsible for the education of the student in question. The criteria under which the IEE is obtained, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria which the AEA uses when it initiates an evaluation.

Upon request, the AEA will provide parent(s) with information about where an independent educational evaluation may be obtained. An AEA may ask the parents’ reason why they object to the public evaluation, however, parent(s) cannot be required to provide the explanation and the AEA may not unreasonably delay a decision regarding the request.

Procedures for Implementing the Independent Evaluation

The following recommended steps will help guide the AEA/LEA staff to complete the independent educational evaluation process.

  1. Confirm that a full and individual evaluation or reevaluation has been completed and that the parent(s) disagree with the evaluation conclusions or recommendations.
  2. Discuss the request with the AEA Special Education Director or designee.
  3. Work with the IEP team to complete and submit the Independent Educational Evaluation Request Form to the AEA Special Education Director ( or designee) for approval and signature.
  4. Provide the IEP team and parent(s) a copy of the completed form.
  5. If necessary, obtain parental consent for the release/exchange of information with outside agencies.
  6. Arrange for the evaluation to be completed. Typically, this might be done by the AEA Special Education Director (or designee) in consultation with the IEP team.
  7. Following the completion of the IEE:
    1. The IEP team will reconvene to review the results and to develop an IEP.
    2. The AEA will reimburse the parent(s) for their expenses associated with the evaluation (e.g. travel, meals, lodging, etc.) consistent with AEA policies and procedures related to reimbursements.
    3. The AEA will reimburse the agency or professional who conducted the independent educational evaluation following the receipt of the evaluation report to the AEA.

Additional information on the Independent Education Evaluations is available online on the Iowa Department of Education website.

Dispute Resolution Resources

For more information on Dispute Resolution options, visit the Department of Education’s website to view a Dispute Resolution Process Comparison Chart and the Dispute Resolution Summary, or access the Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents.