Special Education/Independent Educational Evaluation
This is regarding a 3 year Re-Eval of a SPED student on IEP. I disagreed to the eval and requested IEE.
After a long battle (no appeal) , the school district has agreed to pay for Independent Educational Evaluation. The school has sent me a letter to find an Evaluator who accept state mandated fee and inform them so that they can write a contract.
1) Is there a list of evaluators who accept state fee?
2) Can I pick any evaluator - school pays state rate and I pay balance ?
3) It has been 6 months since I made the first request . do I still need to complete the IEE within 16 months or does the 16 month start from now (after they approved) ?
We are from Massachusetts
Congratulations on earning an IEE. Most states do not have set fee for Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) evaluators. Rather it is negotiated between the school district and the evaluator. Since you state seems to have this, at least according to your school district, you might look for a list from the State Department of Education. While you're at it, you should confirm what the district has claimed. There is always the possibility that it is only a district policy which is not binding in law.
The federal law says that the evaluator must be mutually agreed to by the district and the parent. If your district has left it up to you to select one, then great. I like to look up a potential evaluator in the state Due Process rulings to see if they testified for school districts, or parents, or both. And to see if their testimony lead the parents winning. You can find out how to reach them online.
In terms of you selecting an evaluator that wants more than the district is willing to pay, it's negotiable between to and the district to see if they will agree to you paying any additional cost?. I strongly suggest you not pay anything without the district's knowing about it. It defeats the purpose of the IEE.
There is nothing in IDEA concerning a time limit of the performance of IEE's. If the 16 month limitation is something your state has put in place, then I suggest you check with the state's department of education to find out how it is measured. I would assume it would begin when the district agrees to pay for it and not when you asked for it. But I still think you should check with the state. Again, I would confirm that this limitation really exists.
There is one more thing about IEE's you should know: Under federal law (IDEA), the district is not bound to follow the recommendations of the IEE assessor. They are only required to "consider" it. However, it you have to go to Due Process, the testimony of this assessor becomes important in supporting your case. The judge must give this testimony comperable consideration to that of the district's assessors.