Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)
An independent educational evaluation (IEE) means one or more individual assessments, each completed by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the LEA responsible for the education of the student in question. A parent and/or adult student has the right to obtain an IEE at public expense if he or she disagrees with an evaluation obtained or conducted by the LEA. Parents are not entitled to an IEE at public expense before they allow the LEA to conduct its own evaluation. The LEA will provide the parents with a list of qualified examiners from which to choose for the IEE.
The parent and/or adult student is entitled to only one IEE at public expense for each LEA evaluation. The parent and/or adult student has the right to an IEE at his or her own expense at any time, and the MEEGS group or IEP team must consider the results of each individual assessment completed.
The LEA may initiate a due process hearing, without undue delay, to determine if the evaluation it conducted is appropriate. If the final decision of a hearing officer, or a court of law’s decision on an appeal, is that the evaluation conducted by the LEA was appropriate, the parent and/or adult student still has the right to an IEE but at his or her own expense. Conversely, a hearing officer may order an IEE at public expense if he or she determines that the evaluation conducted by the LEA was not appropriate.
Many times the district will work with the parents to find a mutually agreeable evaluator. Usually a parent will make all the arrangements and provide the transportation.
If a parent obtains an independent educational evaluation at his or her expense, the results of the evaluation that meet state and district criteria shall be considered by the district in any decision made with respect to the provision of FAPE for the child. If a parent and/or adult student obtains an IEE and makes that evaluation available to the LEA, the results must be considered by the LEA in any decision made with respect to the provision of a FAPE, identification, eligibility, or educational placement. The results may also be presented as evidence at a hearing regarding the student. The results of an IEE cannot be the sole determining factor for eligibility. The evaluation group has the responsibility to use existing evaluation data in addition to the IEE to determine whether a student has or continues to have a disability under the IDEA.
To download a sample letter on how to write a letter to an LEA to request an IEE, see Parent Letter Assistance.
In 2004, California sent a letter to OSEP concerning Independent Education Evaluations (IEE). Basically, the response states that parents are allowed to go outside of a school provided list to complete further testing. Please note on page 2, paragraph 3, points 1 and 2.
At your request, we have reviewed the guidance provided by the California Department of Education (CDE). We recommend that CDE add to the guidance after the first sentence that (1) the parent, not the district, has the right to choose which evaluator on the list will conduct the IEE; and (2) when enforcing IEE criteria, the district must allow parents the opportunity to select a qualified evaluator that meets agency criteria even if that evaluator is not on the list of potential evaluators established by the district. In addition, the district must allow parents the opportunity to demonstrate that unique circumstances justify the selection of an evaluator that does not meet agency criteria. We recommend revising the second sentence as follows: if a parent elects to obtain an IEE by an evaluator not on the public agency’s list of evaluators, and the public agency believes the evaluator does not meet agency criteria or there is no justification for selecting an evaluator that does not meet agency criteria, the district may file for due process rather than pay for the IEE.
To review the entire letter, please read the Parker Letter 2004.