My idea is to explore how other countries around the world are dealing with education and special education issues. I’d like to see different successful schools, wherever they may be, up close. I’d like to sit down with directors and administrators. I’d like to speak with government officials who keep a pulse on the education affairs of their communities. I want to learn more about education around the globe through speaking with locals, seeing the schools, and shaking hands with the people responsible for implementing the systems. If you know of any outstanding (public or private) special needs schools in other parts of the world, I’d love to hear about them. If you know any education experts from around the world, I’d love to be introduced to them. Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts or ideas. Read more about my mission.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Individual Educational Evaluation (IEE)
SRO (Munoz) decision 10-072 deals with the issue of IEE's. The facts are a bit convoluted but the main issue was the the parents disagreed with the DOE's findings and wanted the DOE to pay for a private evaluation. The hearing officer explained that (1) the parents must have objected to the evaluation conducted by the DOE, and (2) the type of evaluation for which the parents are seeking reimbursement must be the same as the type of evaluation done by the DOE. There was some disagreement about whether the private evaluation obtained by the parents was a psychological evaluation or a neuropsychological evaluation, but it didn't really matter because the hearing officer ruled that the parent had not properly disagreed. Therefore, the school district was not obligated to reimburse the parent for the private evaluation (which is somewhat weird because the facts suggest that the school district had already paid the parent $3,000 out of the $3,500 it cost for the private evaluation). The hearing officer also relied on the principle of "res judicata" in ruling that since the parents could have brought up this issue previously and didn't, they could not bring it up now. (In a prior hearing, the parents had initially sued for reimbursement for the private evaluation but then withdrew that request and filed it again later on.) The SRO upheld the determination by the hearing officer and explained that "res judicata precludes parties from litigating issues that were or could have been raised in a prior proceeding."
So parents should remember to clearly express disagreement with the DOE's evaluation and make sure that the private evaluation is the same type as the DOE's. And more generally: if a parent has had a full opportunity to raise an issue in a previous proceeding, and the current proceeding involves the same people as the last, the parents may be prevented from raising that issue again.