Education is a fundamental cornerstone to supporting the development of children. In New York, many students in mainstream classroom programs easily work through grade-level tasks and progress over the years until they are prepared to graduate from high school. The path for students who require special education services can be less straightforward and may take detours and stops along the way as their individual needs are assessed.
At the heart of special education is testing, and students who are suspected of requiring special education services can be given educational evaluations through their districts. Unfortunately, this form of testing is not always sufficient. Parents may not know that they have the right to request independent education evaluations (IEE) for their kids.
The independent education evaluation
An IEE is a test or evaluation completed by a qualified individual who is not employed by the school district. In some cases, a family may request that their school district pays for the IEE instead of the family have to pay for it out of pocket. The costs of an IEE may be covered by a school system if the parents or guardians of the child subject to the IEE did not agree with the original special education testing proposed by their district for their child.
Why do parents choose to have their kids do IEE?
There are many reasons that IEE is an important option for New York families and children needing special education services. Those reasons can include, but are not limited to:
- Getting testing that a school district does not test for or does not have the resources to test for;
- Getting a second opinion regarding test results obtained through school district testing; and
- Getting testing when parents do not believe that a school district’s testing was adequate or accurate in its assessment of their child.
Fighting to get an IEE for a child requiring special education services can be an important part to ensuring that child is educated. Education is a key that opens doors, and no child should be left without access to the educational services they need. An education law attorney can help families advocate for the educational support their students require.