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The school may help pay for an independent evaluation

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute & Justice Center of Southeastern Massachusetts
Created February, 2022

You can get the school to pay for all or part of an independent evaluation if:

  • The school did their own evaluation in the last 16 months, and
  • Your income is low enough. You may need to share information about your income with the school.
  • The evaluator must be ‘qualified.” They must be registered, certified, or licensed to do the kind of evaluation your child needs. And
  • The evaluator must evaluate your child for the same things the school evaluation looked at.

If it has been longer than 16 months since the school did their evaluation, if your income is too high, or you do not want to share your income information with the school district, or you are asking for an evaluation that the school has not already done themselves—you can still ask the school to pay for an independent evaluation. The school may suggest doing their own evaluation first. Or the school will agree to pay. If they do not agree, they will go to the Bureau of Special Education Appeals.

If you can pay for it

You can get an independent evaluation any time, if you can pay for it yourself. Check with your health insurance. They may cover some or all of the cost. Make sure the evaluator is willing to make recommendations about what your child needs in school.

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