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Special Education: Protecting Your Child, Protecting Your Rights

October 2016

If you think your child needs special education services, this guide can help you have your child evaluated to see what services are needed. You will also learn how to help make sure your child gets the services he or she needs to do well in school.

Si usted cree que su niño necesita servicios de educación especial, esta guía le puede ayudar para que su hijo sea evaluado para determinar qué servicios son necesarios. También aprenderá como asegurarse de que su niño reciba los servicios que él o ella necesita para hacer bien en la escuela.

What if the school won’t evaluate my child or I disagree with the school’s evaluations?

If the school won’t evaluate your child or you disagree with the school’s evaluations, you can have your child evaluated by someone who doesn’t work for the school. This is called an independent educational evaluation. You can choose your own evaluator, or you can ask the school for a list of independent evaluators.

There will be another PPT meeting to review the independent evaluation. The school district must look at the results of the independent evaluation, but it doesn’t have to agree with the results or recommendations.

Who pays for an independent evaluation?

The school district must pay for an independent evaluation unless it asks for a due process hearing. A due process hearing is a meeting where a hearing officer decides how to resolve a disagreement.

If a due process hearing is held, the school district must prove that its evaluation was appropriate. The hearing officer will make a decision about the school’s evaluation.

  • If the hearing officer decides the school’s evaluation was acceptable, you will have to pay for an independent evaluation yourself.
  • If the hearing officer decidesthe school’s evaluation was not acceptable, the school must pay for an independent evaluation.

My child is eligible for special education. What happens next?

What is an evaluation?

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