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The GAP Attorneys Blog

Meeting the needs of people with disabilities, their families, educators & service providers

Parents denied reimbursement for independent education evaluation for failing to follow proper procedures

P.L. by Liuzzo v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, 55 IDELR 46 (W.D.N.C. 2010):  The parents of a twelve  year-old, fifth grade student diagnosed with Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder (PANDAS), who previously had been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, were denied reimbursement for the cost of an independent educational evaluation (IEE).  The parents had the student independently evaluated only eight days after they had sent a letter to the school district requesting the evaluation at school district expense.  The IDEA required the school district to, “without unnecessary delay,” either initiate a due process hearing to show its evaluation was appropriate or provide the parents with their requested evaluation, unless the school district can show that the IEE obtained by the parents did not meet school district criteria.  In the instant matter the school district, in their parent rights handbook, indicated to parents that they should not expect the school district to pay for an IEE unless they receive written approval for the evaluation.  The school district ultimately responded by rejecting the parents’ request for an IEE (which cost $3,250), and provided the parents with a list of approved evaluators and offered to pay for the cost of an IEE up to $800.  The Court determined that the school district responded to the parents “without unnecessary delay,” as required by the IDEA, since they responded within 60 days from the parents’ request, which is within the 60-day North Carolina statute of limitations for the school district to initiate a due process hearing to defend its evaluation.

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This entry was posted on Monday, March 28th, 2011 at 6:26 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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