(a) Parents of a student eligible for special
education services have the right under this chapter to obtain an independent
educational evaluation of the student if the parent disagrees with the school
district's evaluation subject to subsections (2) through (7) of this
(b) Each school district
shall provide to parents, upon request for an independent educational
evaluation, information about where an independent educational evaluation may
be obtained, and the agency criteria applicable for independent educational
evaluations as set forth in subsection (7) of this section.
For the purposes of this section:
(i) Independent educational evaluation means
an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the
school district responsible for the education of the student in question;
(ii) Public expense means that
the school district either pays for the full cost of the evaluation or ensures
that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent, consistent
with this chapter.
parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense
if the parent disagrees with an evaluation conducted or obtained by the school
(b) A parent is entitled
to only one independent educational evaluation at public expense each time the
school district conducts an evaluation with which the parent
If a parent requests
an independent educational evaluation at public expense consistent with (a) of
this subsection, the school district must either:
(i) Initiate a due process hearing within
fifteen days to show that its evaluation is appropriate; or
(ii) Ensure that an independent educational
evaluation is provided at public expense without unnecessary delay, unless the
school district demonstrates in a hearing under this chapter that the
evaluation obtained by the parent did not meet agency criteria.
(3) If the school
district initiates a hearing and the final decision is that the district's
evaluation is appropriate, the parent still has the right to an independent
educational evaluation, but not at public expense.
(4) If a parent requests an independent
educational evaluation, the school district may ask for the parent's reason why
he or she objects to the school district's evaluation. However, the explanation
by the parent may not be required and the school district must either provide
the independent educational evaluation at public expense or initiate a due
process hearing to defend the educational evaluation.
If the parent obtains an independent
educational evaluation at public or private expense, the results of the
(a) Must be considered by the
school district, if it meets agency criteria, in any decision made with respect
to the provision of FAPE to the student; and
(b) May be presented as evidence at a hearing
under this chapter regarding that student.
(6) If an administrative law judge requests
an independent educational evaluation as part of a due process hearing, the
cost of the evaluation must be at public expense.
an independent educational 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
school district uses when it initiates an evaluation, to the extent those
criteria are consistent with the parent's right to an independent educational
(b) Except for the
criteria described in (a) of this subsection, a school district may not impose
conditions or timelines related to obtaining an independent educational
evaluation at public expense.