Importance of an Independent Educational Evaluation January 28, 2015

By Susan C. Stone

When do I need an Independent Educational Evaluation for my child?

An Independent Educational Evaluation is an evaluation of your child by someone outside of the school district. Independent Educational Evaluations are important when you feel that the school’s evaluation is not accurate. It is always a good idea to get a second opinion about your child’s disability and your child’s education needs. Independent Educational Evaluations are also a good choice for your child if you feel the school’s evaluation did not give you enough information about your child’s needs. An Independent Educational Evaluation can supplement the school’s evaluation and give you additional information that can be used to help develop an Individualized Education Program for your child.

How can an Independent Educational Evaluation help my child? 

Independent Evaluators can write a report on whether your child has a disability and is in need of special education. An independent evaluator can also recommend what type of Independent Educational Program (IEP) would benefit your child or what changes need to be made to your child’s current IEP. Independent Evaluators can also advise you about whether your child can be educated in a regular classroom and what support your child requires in order to be successful in a regular classroom.

Who pays for an Independent Educational Evaluation?

Parents have the right to request the school district to pay for one free independent evaluation for each school evaluation or re-evaluation of your child. Parents have the right to make this request if they feel the school’s evaluation of their child was not appropriate. If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense, the school district must either pay for the independent educational evaluation or file a due process complaint to request a hearing to show that the school district’s evaluation was appropriate.  The school district of residence is required to pay for the independent educational evaluation if the hearing officer finds the school’s evaluation was not appropriate. Parents always maintain the right to pay for their own private independent educational evaluation.

How do I find an Independent Evaluator?

If the school district is paying for the independent educational evaluation, the school district must provide the parents with information about where an evaluation can be obtained and criteria they require in an independent evaluator.

If you feel your child would benefit from an independent educational evaluation, contact Susan Stone to discuss. Ms. Stone has experience helping parents obtain independent education evaluations at the school district’s expense. Ms. Stone can also help you find appropriate independent evaluators to ensure that your child is getting the services they need.

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