The December 1, 2021, State Board of Education Meeting will be held at the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, in Hearing Room 1E, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Guidance for Independent Educational Evaluations and In-School Observations

Laws/Regulations


Connecticut Regulation Regarding Independent Educational Evaluations:
Section 10-76D- 9.

Evaluation; independent Educational Evaluation; Determining the existence of a learning disability; Evaluation and identification for gifted and talented (a) Evaluation; Independent Educational Evaluations. The board of education shall conduct an initial evaluation or reevaluation, in accordance with the provisions of IDEA, to determine if a child is a child with a disability. A parent shall be permitted to obtain an independent educational evaluation, in accordance with the provisions of IDEA.

 

IDEA Regulation Regarding Independent Educational Evaluations:

Section 300.502 Independent educational evaluation.
 

General. (1) The parents of a child with a disability have the right under this part to obtain an independent educational evaluation of the child, subject to federal regulations.
(2) Each school district must provide to parents, upon request for an independent educational evaluation, information about where an independent educational evaluation may be obtained, and the agency criteria applicable for independent educational evaluations.
(i) Independent educational evaluation means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the school district responsible for the education of the child in question; and public expense means that the school district either pays for the full cost of the evaluation or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent.
(b) Parent right to an evaluation at public expense. (1) A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the school district, subject to the conditions in paragraphs (b)(2) through (4) of this section.
(2) If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense, the school district must, without unnecessary delay, either – 
(i) File a due process complaint to request a hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate; or
(ii) Ensure that an independent educational evaluation is provided at public expense, unless the school district demonstrates in a hearing that the evaluation obtained by the parent did not meet school district criteria. 
(3) If the school district files a due process complaint notice to request a hearing and the final decision is that the school district evaluation is appropriate, the parent still has a right to an independent educational evaluation, but not at public expense.
(4) If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation, the school district may ask for the parent’s reason why he or she objects to the public evaluation. However, the school district may not require the parent to provide an explanation and may not unreasonably delay either providing the independent educational evaluation at public expense or filing a due process complaint to request a due process hearing to defend the public evaluation.
(5) A parent is entitled to only one independent educational evaluation at public expense each time the school district conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees. 
(c) Parent – initiated evaluations. If the parent obtains an independent educational evaluation at public expense or shares with the public agency an evaluation obtained at private expense, the results of the evaluation- 
(1) Must be considered by the school district, if it meets school district criteria, in any decision made with respect to the provision of FAPE to the child; and 
(2) May be presented by any party as evidence at a hearing on a due process complaint under subpart E of this part regarding that child.
(d) Requests for evaluations by hearing officers. If a hearing officer requests an independent educational evaluation as part of a hearing on a due process complaint, the cost of the evaluation must be at public expense.
(e) School district criteria. (1) if an independent educational 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 school district uses when it initiates an evaluation, to the extent those criteria are consistent with the parent’s right to an independent educational evaluation.
(2)Except for the criteria described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, a school district may not impose conditions or timelines related to obtaining an independent educational evaluation at public expense.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1415 (b)(1) and (d)(2)(A))