If medical verification of a disability is required as part of a full and individual initial evaluation, can the school require the parent to secure and pay for such medical verification?

Published: June 16th, 2016

Schools cannot require parents to secure medical verifications. The IDEA requires schools to conduct a full and individual initial evaluation before the initial provision of special education and related services. [34 C.F.R. § 300.301(a)] The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (whose decisions are binding on Arizona) has ruled that a school cannot abdicate or delegate to parents its affirmative duties under the IDEA to ensure that students are evaluated [34 C.F.R. § 300.111(a)(i)] and that they are evaluated in all areas of suspected disability [34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c)(4)] by referring parents to an outside agency to secure an evaluation, for “[s]uch an action does not ‘ensure that the child is assessed,’ as required by 20 U.S.C. § 1414(b)(3)(C).” [N.B. and C.B. v. Hellgate Elementary School District, 541 F.3d 1202 (9th Cir. 2008)]