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IHBAI - Independent Educational Evaluations

A parent of a student with disabilities has a right to obtain an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by Falmouth Public Schools.  An “independent educational evaluation" means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by FPS.

If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense to challenge an evaluation obtained by FPS, the school must provide a written response to that request within a reasonable period, not to exceed 30 days of the receipt of the request, and shall, without unnecessary delay, either (1) initiate a hearing with the Maine Department of Education to show that its evaluation is appropriate, or (2) ensure that an independent educational evaluation is provided at public expense, unless the school department demonstrates in a hearing with the Maine Department of Education that the evaluation obtained by the parent did not meet agency criteria.

If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense, the public agency may ask for the parent's reason for objection to the school department’s evaluation. However, the explanation by the parent may not be required, and the school department may not unreasonably delay either providing the independent educational evaluation at public expense or initiating a due process hearing to defend the school department’s evaluation.

If the independent evaluation is at public expense, the criteria under which the evaluation is obtained, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, must be the same as the criteria that the local school unit uses when it initiates an evaluation. Falmouth Public Schools will only contract with appropriate, licensed, and certified service providers who practice within the state and whose fees are commensurate with similar service providers. Positive references will also be secured prior to confirmation of a contract with an outside evaluator.

The school department shall provide to the parent, upon request for an independent educational evaluation, information about where an independent educational evaluation may be obtained and information about the school's criteria applicable to independent educational evaluations at public expense.

If the parent obtains an independent educational evaluation at private expense, the results of the evaluation must be considered by the local school department, if that evaluation meets the school department’s criteria for independent educational evaluations, in any decision made with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education for the child. 


If the parent requests an independent evaluation at public expense when the parent does not disagree with an evaluation provided by the school department, or when the school has not recently provided an evaluation in the area requested, the parent request shall be referred without unnecessary delay to the Individual Education Program (IEP) Team to determine whether the IEP Team should order an evaluation in the area requested.


Legal Reference:

34 CFR § 300.502 (March 1999)

Me. Dept. of Ed. Reg. ch. 1 0 1 § § 9.19, 12.5 (Nov. 1999)


Adopted: April 29, 2009

Reviewed: May 20, 2019