Independent Educational Evaluations
NEPN/NSBA Code: IHBAI
A parent has a right to obtain an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation completed by the Yarmouth School Department. An independent educational evaluation means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the Yarmouth School Department.
If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense to challenge an evaluation completed by Yarmouth School Department, the request must be made prior to conducting the independent educational evaluation. The school must provide a written response to that request within a reasonable period, not to exceed 30 days of the receipt of the request and shall, without unnecessary delay, either (1) file a due process hearing request to request a hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate; or (2) ensure that an independent educational evaluation is provided at public expense, unless the Yarmouth School Department demonstrates in a hearing with the Maine Department of Education that the evaluation obtained by the parent did not meet Yarmouth School Department’s criteria. If the Yarmouth School Department requests a hearing and the final decision is that their evaluation is appropriate, the parent still has the right to an independent educational evaluation but not at public expense. Parents may receive only one independent educational evaluation at public expense each time the Yarmouth School Department conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees.
If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense, the Yarmouth School Department may ask for the parent’s reason why he/she objects to the local school unit’s evaluation. However, the explanation by the parent may not be required and the Yarmouth School Department may not unreasonably delay either providing the independent educational evaluation at public expense or initiating a due process hearing to defend the Yarmouth School Department’s evaluation.
If the independent evaluation is at public expense, the criteria under which the evaluation is obtained, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria that the Yarmouth School Department uses when it initiates an evaluation.
The Yarmouth School Department shall provide to the parent, upon request for an independent educational evaluation, information about where an independent educational evaluation may be obtained and information about the school’s criteria applicable to independent educational evaluations at public expense.
If the parent obtains an independent educational evaluation at private expense, the results of the evaluation must be considered by the Yarmouth School Department if that evaluation meets the local school unit’s criteria for independent educational evaluations in any decision made with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education for the child.
If the parent requests an independent evaluation at public expense when the parent does not disagree with an evaluation provided by the local school unit or when the school has
not recently provided an evaluation in the area requested, the parent request shall be referred without unnecessary delay to the IEP team to determine whether the IEP team should order an evaluation in the area requested.
34 CFR §300.502
Ch. 101 §§ 11.1-11.3 (2010) (Me. Dept. of Ed. Rules)
Cross-reference: IHBA - Individualized Education Programs
Adopted: January 13, 2011