Request an Independent Education Evaluation

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Why would I want to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at public expense?

Sometimes a family may feel that the results of the school’s evaluation do not accurately describe their child. They may want additional academic tests or medical exams. Or they may be interested in evaluations in skill areas the school staff did not test. Parents can choose to have their child tested outside the school system, for these or other reasons.

However, if you want the school to pay for the IEE, you will need to make your request BEFORE any independent testing is done. Some reasons you may want to request an independent evaluation include:

  • You believe the original evaluation was incorrect or incomplete and additional tests are needed.
  • The original evaluation was not done in your child’s native language.
  • The evaluation was not done with the needed accommodations (for example, in Braille or administered by someone who knows sign language).

The school system may agree to your request and pay for the IEE. On the other hand, the school system may deny your request and ask for a hearing to show that its own evaluation was appropriate. You will have the chance at this hearing to state your reasons why the school system should be required to pay for the IEE.

An impartial third person (called a hearing officer) listens to and reviews the evidence. This individual then decides if the school system must pay for an independent evaluation. If the hearing officer decides in favor of the school system, you may still obtain an independent evaluation, but you must pay for it.

The results of the IEE must be considered by the school in any decision made regarding your child’s free appropriate public education.

Your formatted letter will look something like this:

Today’s Date (include month, day, and year)

Your Name
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code
Daytime telephone number

Name of the person to whom you’re writing
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear (person’s name),

My son/daughter, (child’s name), is in the ( _ ) grade at (name of school), in (teacher’s name) class. He/She was evaluated for special education services in (month/year). I am writing to request an Independent Educational Evaluation at public expense, for the following reasons: (BRIEFLY list your reason(s). Be very specific. For example,)

“I disagree with the evaluation results because . . .”

“The evaluation should have included . . .”

“Evaluation should have been done in the area of . . .”

I would like this Independent Educational Evaluation to be done as quickly as possible so that we can fully address (child’s name) needs. Please respond as soon as possible and send me copies of the school’s guidelines for this. My daytime telephone number is (give your phone number). Thank you.


Your name

Letter information generously created and placed in the public domain by: Center for Parent Information and Resources (4/5/2018). Requesting an Initial Evaluation for Special Education Services, Newark, NJ.