On November 18, 2003, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of Denmark. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district properly responded to a parent request in October 2003 for an independent educational evaluation (IEE) for her child.
On May 28, 2003, an individualized education program (IEP) team determined the child was not a child with a disability. The child's mother was present at the meeting and signed the evaluation report form indicating she disagreed with the results of the evaluation. On October 8, the parent sent the district a written request for information on where to get an IEE and a copy of the district IEE procedures. On October 31 and November 6, the Special Education Director responded in writing requesting the parent provide the district with additional information.
Each district must provide to parents, upon request for an IEE, information about where an IEE may be obtained and the district criteria applicable for IEEs. The district may not unreasonably delay a publicly funded IEE because the parents have not informed the district of their reason for disagreeing with the district's evaluation. The district must respond to the request in a reasonable amount of time and in a manner that does not interfere with the child's right to a free appropriate public education.
The district received the request for IEE information on October 8, and to date, has not provided this information to the parent. The district is directed to immediately provide the child's parent information about where to obtain an IEE and a copy of the district IEE procedures. The district also is directed to respond, without further delay, to the parent's request for an IEE either by initiating a hearing to show its evaluation is appropriate or by ensuring that an IEE is provided at public expense. The district is directed to notify the department of the action it takes in complying with this directive by February 2, 2004. Within 30 days, the district must also review its IEE policy and submit a corrective action plan to ensure that upon request for an IEE, the district provides the required information to parents within a reasonable amount of time.
This concludes our review of this complaint.
//signed CST 1/14/04
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy