5 Things You Should Know About Speech-Language Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE) in Georgia

Independent Educational Evaluation Georgia

What is an Independent Educational Evaluation?

The Georgia Department of Education defines an Individualized Educational Evaluation as an evaluation conducted by a qualified individual who is not an employee of the school system

This evaluation can be paid for by the local education agency (LEA)/school district/public agency.  

There are certain conditions this evaluation must meet and the results of the evaluation must be considered by the LEA in any decision related to the provision of a FAPE (free appropriate public education) for the child, no matter who paid for the evaluation, and may be presented by either party as evidence in a due process hearing.

When can you ask for an Independent Educational Evaluation?

Parents can request an IEE after the school district has performed their own evaluation. The request can occur for the following reasons, but not limited to:

    • If you disagree with the district’s evaluation,
    • If the district’s evaluation was incomplete and/or they used outdated measures and assessments,
    • If the assessment measures used were not appropriate for the suspected eligibility area, and/or
    • The district does not employ qualified evaluators for specific evaluations.

If a parent requests an IEE, the public agency must, without unnecessary delay, either:

    1. File a due process complaint to request a hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate; or
    2. Ensure that an independent educational evaluation is provided at public expense.

Additional details can be found in 34 CFR § 300.502 and Georgia Special Education Rules Manual.

How do you ask for an Independent Educational Evaluation?

Parents should initiate this request in writing to the school district.

The LEA may ask the parent why they disagree with the LEA evaluation, but the LEA cannot require an explanation. If the LEA agrees to provide an IEE, the LEA will provide the parents with a list of qualified examiners from which to choose for the IEE. The parent does not have to select an evaluator from the list provided.

What should be your strategy?

When possible, the parent should consider paying for the evaluation privately and then seeking reimbursement from the district. Why? This is the difference between your evaluator being an ally expert or an expert only.  

When the evaluator is your ally, they work with your family and other stakeholders directly to identify the challenges your child demonstrates in the classroom and discuss the support needed to improve your child’s outcomes. The parents can decide to share (or not) that information with whomever they choose.

In cases where the evaluator is the expert (and is contracted and paid by the school system), they are a neutral party and whatever information is collected, whether beneficial to your case or not, is presented to the district.  These cases often require the dissemination of assessment results to all parties at the same time.

What is the difference between a Clinical Speech-Language Evaluation and an Independent Educational Evaluation?

The breadth of investigation in a Clinical Speech-Language Evaluation is not as in-depth as an Independent Educational Evaluation. A clinical evaluation is generally completed in person or virtually, usually in one sitting, lasting, on average, an hour and a half. Areas of assessment and report are often medically driven.

Atlanta Speech Therapy offers Independent Educational Evaluations with an expanded look at specific concerns related to education, including classroom observations, teacher questionnaires, parent and student interviews, and a forensic look at educational and medical records. This process identifies the child’s strengths and weaknesses to assist in overcoming any communication and/or academic challenges impairing a child’s access to the curriculum.

Interested in Atlanta Speech Therapy performing your child’s IEE?

As all cases are unique, and to ensure we are best suited to assist your family, let’s schedule a consultation to discuss your family’s needs.

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