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b.Public Expense—that the public agency either pays for the full cost of the evaluation or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent, consistent with §103.

B.Parent Right to Evaluation at Public Expense

1.A parent has the right to an independent educational evaluation at public expense if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency, subject to the conditions in Paragraphs B.2 through 4 of this Section.
2.If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation at public expense, the public agency shall, without unnecessary delay, either:
a.file a request for due process hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate; or
b.ensure that an independent educational evaluation is provided at public expense, unless the agency demonstrates in a hearing pursuant to §§507 through 513 that the evaluation obtained by the parent did not meet agency criteria.
3.If the public agency files a request for due process hearing and the final decision is that the agency's evaluation is appropriate, the parent still has the right to an independent educational evaluation, but not at public expense.
4.If a parent requests an independent educational evaluation, the public agency may ask for the parent's reason why he or she objects to the public evaluation. However, the public agency may not require the parent to provide an explanation and may not unreasonably delay either providing the independent educational evaluation at public expense or filing a request for due process hearing to defend the public evaluation.
5.A parent is entitled to only one independent educational evaluation at public expense each time the public agency conducts an evaluation with which the parent disagrees.

C.Parent-Initiated Evaluations. If the parent obtains an independent educational evaluation at public expense or shares with the public agency an evaluation obtained at private expense, the results of the evaluation:

1.shall be considered by the public agency, if it meets agency criteria, in any decision made with respect to the provision of FAPE to the student; and
2.may be presented by any party as evidence at a hearing on a due process request regarding that student under Chapter 5 of these regulations.

D.Requests for Evaluations by Hearing Officers. If a hearing officer requests an independent educational evaluation as part of a hearing on a request for due process hearing, the cost of the evaluation shall be at public expense.

E.Agency Criteria

1.If an independent educational evaluation is at public expense, the criteria under which the evaluation is obtained, including the location of the evaluation and the qualifications of the examiner, shall be the same as the criteria that the public agency uses when it initiates an evaluation, to the extent those criteria are consistent with the parent’s right to an independent educational evaluation.
2.Except for the criteria described in Paragraph E.1 of this Section, a public agency may not impose conditions or timelines related to obtaining an independent educational evaluation at public expense.

AUTHORITY NOTE:Promulgated in accordance with R.S.17:1941 et seq.

HISTORICAL NOTE:Promulgated by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, LR 34:2068 (October 2008).

§504.Prior Notice by the Public Agency; Content of Notice

A.Notice. Written notice that meets the requirements of Subsection B of this Section shall be given to the parents of a student with a disability a reasonable time before the public agency:

1.proposes to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the student or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the student; or
2.refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the student or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the student.

B.Content of Notice. The notice under Subsection A of this Section shall include:

1.a description of the action proposed or refused by the agency;
2.an explanation of why the agency proposes or refuses to take the action;
3.a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action;
4.a statement that the parents of a student with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards of this chapter and, if this notice is not an initial referral for an evaluation, the means by which a copy of a description of the procedural safeguards can be obtained;
5.sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this chapter;
6.a description of other options that the IEP Team considered and the reasons why those options were rejected; and
7.a description of other factors that are relevant to the agency's proposal or refusal.

C.Notice in Understandable Language

1.The notice required under paragraph A of this section shall be:
a.written in language understandable to the general public; and
b.provided in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.
2.If the native language or other mode of communication of the parent is not a written language, the public agency shall take steps to ensure that:
a.the notice is translated orally or by other means to the parent in his or her native language or other mode of communication;
b.the parent understands the content of the notice; and
c.there is written evidence that the requirements of Subparagraph C.2.a and b of this Section have been met.

D.If the notice relates to an action proposed by the agency that also requires parental consent under §301, the LEA may give notice at the same time it requests parental consent.

AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated in accordance with R.S.17:1941 et seq.

Louisiana Register   Vol. 34, No. 10   October 20, 2008

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