IDEA Complaint Decision 00-020

On April 19, 2000, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the D C Everest Area School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether district policy improperly denies parents the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense on request if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the district.

On June 8, 2000, Stephanie Petska wrote to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) seeking clarification regarding the application of federal regulation to the circumstances of this complaint. Department staff had concluded that the policies in question included provisions that are inconsistent with a parent's right to an IEE under 34 CFR 300.502. The department, however, wished to confirm its understanding of this federal regulation through its contact with OSEP. Pending receipt of a response from OSEP, the department set aside its investigation of the complaint. The attached response, dated September 10, 2001, to the department's inquiry confirms the initial conclusions reached by department staff. Consequently, the district is directed not to use the portions of its policy related to independent educational evaluations as required by the attached September 10 OSEP interpretive letter and to submit to the department a draft of a replacement policy within 45 days of the date of this letter. Department staff will contact the district within 10 days to assist with this activity. The department will determine whether the district may proceed to utilize the proposed policy or whether it must be modified.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 9/20/01
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/jrm

For questions about this information, contact Patricia Williams (608) 267-3720