If the parent or guardian of a student who has or is thought to have a disability disagrees with the evaluation obtained by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), they have a right to obtain an independent evaluation at public expense.
The district may initiate an impartial hearing to show that the evaluation of the CSE or CPSE is appropriate and, if the impartial hearing officer determines that the CSE or CPSE’s evaluation is appropriate, the parent shall not have the right to a publicly funded independent evaluation, or the right to reimbursement for an independent educational evaluation they may have already obtained.
Independent education evaluations shall be conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the child’s education. Parents or guardians seeking an independent evaluation must file a written request within 45 days from the date of the CSE or CPSE evaluation. The district may request the parent/guardian to specify the areas of disagreement with the district’s evaluation(s). Requests for independent evaluations received more than 45 days after the parent received the results of the CSE or CPSE evaluation will not be considered for payment by the school district.
When an independent educational evaluation is requested and approved by the school district, and a professional is selected to conduct the evaluation, then it will become the responsibility of the professional evaluator to contact the district to arrange for payment, dates of classroom visitations, and discussions with school staff.
Public expense shall mean that the district will pay for the reasonable cost of the independent evaluation or ensure that the evaluation is otherwise provided at reasonable cost to the parent. The district shall establish reasonable reimbursement rates for independent evaluations that do not exceed the costs which the school district would be required to pay to its own employees. The district will not pay more than the prevailing fee schedules in Dutchess County for a comprehensive independent educational evaluation that would meet the requirements under Commissioner’s Regulations which require an individual psychological evaluation, a social history, and other suitable examinations and evaluations as may be necessary to ascertain the physical, mental, and emotional factors which contribute to a suspected educational disability.
The district shall maintain and make available to parents or guardians a list of appropriate public and private agencies and other resources which can provide an independent educational evaluation. The list shall contain the names, addresses and telephone numbers of such agencies or resources. The district will permit parents to select any independent evaluator who is in the public telephone book within the confines of Dutchess County, New York, at the time the parent makes the request of the school district, as long as the qualified professional selected by the parent is a certified (where appropriate) and/or licensed evaluator.
The district will pay for an evaluation performed by an employee of any other public school district or BOCES within the State of New York whom the parent chooses to employ as an independent evaluator at the then current hourly rate paid to that licensed or certified individual by their respective public school district or BOCES.
The district will not pay for or accept for reimbursement as an independent evaluation, one that has been prepared by an individual who does not possess a license or certification from the New York State Education Department as a qualified professional. All such evaluations will be subject to the reimbursement rates established by the district. Such independent evaluations may also be presented as evidence at a hearing conducted by the district or requested by the parent.
Evaluations requested which do not fall within the district’s established criteria may be subject to public expense if they are justified by the child’s unique circumstances. Requests for exceptions to this policy should be forwarded in writing to the Chairperson of the district’s CSE or CPSE.
Parents/guardians can obtain further information on independent educational evaluations by contacting the Chairperson of the district’s CSE or CPSE. Parents/guardians can also contact the State Education Department for additional information on independent educational evaluations by contacting the Office for Special Education Services at (518) 474-5356 and speaking to the Regional Associate assigned to the Dutchess County area.
34 CFR §300.503
8 NYCRR §§200.1(u); 200.5(a)(l)(vi)(a); 200.5(b); 200.5(c)(6)
Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, SRO Dec. No. 93-26 (1993)
Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 30 EDR 129 (1990)
Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 30 EDR 108 (1990)
Application of a Child with a Handicapping Condition, 26 EDR 439 (1987)
Appeal of a Handicapped Child, 25 EDR 185 (1985)
Matter of a Child Suspected of Having a Handicapping Condition, 23 EDR 140 (1983)
Matter of Three Handicapped Children, 21 EDR 353 (1981)
Memorandum to District Superintendents Independent Evaluations; Updating on Regulatory Requirements, State Education Department