When parents disagree with the assessment their child's school has completed, they have the right to ask for an IEE. In response, the school will either grant the parents' request and pay for an IEE or start a due process hearing during which they must show that their evaluation was right for the student in question. If the school cannot prove this, they will then be required to pay for an IEE.
While it is always best for parents and schools to work collaboratively in their efforts to evaluate and provide for a student's needs, disagreements sometimes arise between the parties. When this happens, an IEE is a possible next step.
In other instances, a school will willingly agree to pay for an IEE. This might occur when the school believes an outside assessment is needed or if the school does not have the staff to perform the testing needed.
What is an IEE? The term IEE comes from the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which is the United States' special education law. An IEE is an evaluation conducted by a qualified person who is not employed by the public school responsible for the education of the student in question. Whereas parents are free to arrange and pay for a private assessment of their child at any time, there are certain infrequent situations where a public school district will pay for a private assessment either by choice or by legal mandate. Such an assessment, completed outside the school system but paid for by the school district, is referred to as an IEE.