Why More Parents Should Seek Independent Evaluations

 Independent Evaluations Special EducationOn November 21, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled unanimously that school districts must pay for independent evaluations when parents disagree with school or public agency’s initial assessment of their child.

This regulation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (IDEA) the main federal special education law, has been active with various versions since 1977. With the November 21 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals is upholding a longtime U.S. Department of Education regulation requiring school districts, under circumstances, to reimburse parents for independent educational evaluations of their children with disabilities.

The next step is for Congress to make sure that this statute is reflected in IDEA. Previously, the scope of IDEA didn’t specifically state that schools must authorize reimbursements for independent evaluations.

If you are a parent of a student with special needs or concerned with how your child is performing in school, there is no better time than now to pursue an independent evaluation to make sure your child is getting the education he or she deserves.

To learn more about independent evaluations, special education, and developing an individual education plan, check out the post “What You Need to Know Before You Create Your Child’s IEP.”

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Source: Education Week