...there is nothing in the regulations prohibiting a Local Educational Agency (LEA) from providing parents with a list of qualified examiners. If, however, the LEA wants to limit parents to using the examiners on the district's list, the list must be exhaustive... Also, the LEA must include in its policy that parents have the opportunity to demonstrate that unique circumstances may justify the selection of an IEE examiner who does not meet the LEA's qualification criteria and are not on the LEA's list of examiners".
"No. We think our evaluation is appropriate". In that case, the school district must file for a due process hearing and prove that its evaluation is appropriate and that the parent's request for an IEE is unwarranted.
"Yes. We'd be happy to pay for an IEE. Will you be picking the person to do the evaluation on your own or do you need an all-inclusive list of every possible qualified evaluator?"
A parent's right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) is one of the strongest rights in Federal and State education law and it is highly recommended that a parent ask for and receive approval by the school district for an IEE before requesting an educational due process hearing.
If a parent requests that the school district pay for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE), there are two and only two answers that are legal under state and federal statutes:
The IEE provides an essential balance in the parent-school relationship to ensure FAPE by permitting input from independent professionals. COPAA members understand that publicly-funded IEEs have brought to bear necessary expertise and researched-based scientific practices for children and generally enhanced parent-school collaboration. COPAA also has insight into other issues this appeal raises including "collaborative federalism" of the IDEA, the doctrine that has led all of the states in the Eleventh Circuit to adopt longstanding regulations permitting publicly-funded IEEs.
Margaret J. Kay, Ed.D. Psychologist
Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)
Licensed Psychologist in PA and DE
Fellow American College of Forensic Examiners in Educational and School Psychology
Lancaster Office Phone: (717) 569-6223
JEFFERSON Board of Education v. Phillip and Angie C.
On February 21, 2012 COPAA filed an Amicus brief in this case regarding IEE's in support of the parents, Appellees, represented by Deb Mattison, COPAA member.
As Amicus, COPAA's interest is to offer this Court its experience on the IEE issue including the use of publicly-funded IEEs in the provision of FAPE, aiding in the protection of the rights of children with disabilities.
If the school district says it will pay for the IEE but wants the parent to pick from a list of evaluators it has approved, all qualified examiners in the geographic location must be included on the list. The Office for Special Education (OSEP) addressed this 34 CFR 300.502(a) (2) requirement in "Letter to Young" in 2003:
COPAA Amicus Committee members Alice Nelson, Andrew Feinstein, Catherine Merino Reisman and Selene Almazan assisted in the review of drafts. February 24, 2012