Independent Education Evaluation

Fact Sheet
Updated: 1 year ago

What is an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE)?

An IEE is an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school or district which your child attends. An IEE must be paid for by the school at public expense and can be used to examine any area related to the child’s educational needs, including, but not limited to:

  • Academic or Cognitive Testing
  • Psychological Testing
  • Neurological Functioning
  • Speech
  • Occupational Therapy

When might I need to request an IEE?

  • When you disagree with the results of the evaluation conducted by the school district;
  • If you feel that the school district’s evaluation was not comprehensive;
  • If you have reason to believe that the school district’s evaluator was not well-qualified; or
  • If you are observing things about your child are different than those detailed in the school evaluator’s report, and you wish to receive a second opinion.

How do I make a request for an IEE?

When requesting an IEE, make the request in writing (via email, fax, and/or mail) and include in the letter a description of the child’s disability and why the evaluation is necessary. An example letter can be found below.

How can the school respond to my request?

The school can respond in one of two ways:

  1. The school district will grant the request for the IEE and set up a process for payment.
  2. The school will refuse to grant the request for an IEE. If they do so, they must file for a Due Process hearing to prove to an Impartial Hearing Officer that the school district evaluation was sufficient and an IEE is unnecessary.

How can the school respond to my request?

The school district has its own criteria for selecting qualified examiners, and the independent evaluator chosen by the parent must meet these same criteria and qualifications. If you request a private evaluator, the school district must provide you with information about its criteria and a list of independent evaluators who can conduct the IEE; however, you are not required to choose from this list.

What happens after an IEE has been conducted?

Following an IEE, the school district must consider the results of the evaluation. The evaluation may play an important role in developing your child’s IEP and should be considered during these meetings.

What if the school fails to provide the evaluation, file for a due process hearing, or respond to the IEE request all together?

If the school fails to provide the evaluation or respond to your request, you may want to utilize one of the available dispute options available under the IDEA:

  • Request Mediation
  • Submit an IDEA State Complaint
  • Request a Due Process Hearing

Sample IEE Request

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

Your Name

Street Address City, State, Zip Code

Daytime telephone number


Name of Special Education Administrator

Name of School

Street Address City, State, Zip Code


Dear (Special education administrators’ name),

My child, (child’s name), is in the (_) grade at (name of school). S/he has recently been evaluated for special education services by the school district’s evaluator, (name of evaluator).

I received the evaluation reports and am not in agreement with the results. (If you have had an eligibility meeting for your child, note the date and outcome of that meeting here.)

I am requesting an independent educational evaluation for my child. I understand that federal and state special education law provides for an independent evaluation at public expense. I am requesting this independent evaluation based on the following reasons: (List your reasons in detail with supporting quotes or data as necessary).

I am requesting that my child be evaluated in the following areas: (List skill areas for which you are requesting an independent evaluation).

I plan to have (name of evaluator) of (name of center/hospital/or other affiliation) conduct the evaluation. Please contact his/her office at (phone number) to arrange payment for these services. (If you do not have an evaluator in mind, you may request a list of approved providers and/or information relating to the district’s criteria and qualifications for evaluators).

I understand that the school district must pay for the independent evaluation unless it can prove that its assessment is comprehensive and appropriate in a due process hearing. Please inform me in writing within five days whether you intend to honor my request or to request a hearing on the issue.

I also am aware that since the evaluation will be done at public expense, it must be comparable to that done by the school district’s evaluator. Please contact (name of evaluator)’s office to discuss the criteria and conditions and to provide information about who should be sent the evaluation report so it can be considered by the IEP team.

Thank you very much for your help. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at (your phone number). I look forward to hearing from you about this request.

Sincerely, (Your name)