392-172A-05000  <<  392-172A-05005 >>   392-172A-05010

Independent educational evaluation.

(1)(a) Parents of a student eligible for special education have the right under this chapter to obtain an independent educational evaluation of the student if the parent disagrees with the school district's evaluation subject to subsections (2) through (7) of this section.
(b) Each school district shall 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 as set forth in subsection (7) of this section.
(c) For the purposes of this section:
(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 student in question; and
(ii) 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, consistent with this chapter.
(2)(a) A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation conducted or obtained by the school district.
(b) 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) If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense consistent with (a) of this subsection, the school district must either:
(i) Initiate a due process hearing within fifteen days to show that its evaluation is appropriate; or
(ii) Ensure that an independent educational evaluation is provided at public expense without unnecessary delay, unless the school district demonstrates in a hearing under this chapter that the evaluation obtained by the parent did not meet agency criteria.
(3) If the school district initiates a hearing and the final decision is that the district's evaluation is appropriate, the parent still has the 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 school district's evaluation. However, the explanation by the parent may not be required and the school district must either provide the independent educational evaluation at public expense or initiate a due process hearing to defend the educational evaluation.
(5) If the parent obtains an independent educational evaluation at public or private expense, the results of the evaluation:
(a) Must be considered by the school district, if it meets agency criteria, in any decision made with respect to the provision of FAPE to the student; and
(b) May be presented as evidence at a hearing under this chapter regarding that student.
(6) If an administrative law judge requests an independent educational evaluation as part of a due process hearing, the cost of the evaluation must be at public expense.
(7)(a) 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.
(b) Except for the criteria described in (a) of this subsection, a school district may not impose conditions or timelines related to obtaining an independent educational evaluation at public expense.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.155.090 and 34 C.F.R. Part 300. WSR 09-20-053, § 392-172A-05005, filed 10/1/09, effective 11/1/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 28A.155.090(7) and 42 U.S.C. 1400 et. seq. WSR 07-14-078, § 392-172A-05005, filed 6/29/07, effective 7/30/07.]
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