Determining Evaluation Timelines

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How long does a school have evaluate a child after a formal request is made and all consent paperwork is signed?

How many days before the school district is required to comply?

You have to be careful about asking questions of this nature. Often the answer you receive may be wrong!

Part of the answer is dependent on whether it is a new evaluation —  or a re-evaluation.

Learn how to find the answer yourself.

  • Go to our Wrightslaw website
  • Look at the left column
  • Scroll down to Law Library
  • Click on IDEA 2004
  • Look for the law about evaluations

Easier, faster route –

Check your law book. Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition

You will find it in 20 U.S.C. § 1414, page 92.

Look at the information about the requirements for evaluations in § 1414.

Timelines Vary by State

The timelines vary around the country, from 45 calendar days to 60 school days.

You must learn your state Special Education Regulations requirements. You can “google” the state regs.

Easier, faster route –

Click on your state special education regulations link in the State Department of Education directory on the Wrightslaw Yellow Pages for Kids.

  • Download your state regulations
  • look at the corresponding state regulations for timelines

Answer the question yourself.

When you learn the answer for your state, post it in the comment section below!

  1. How long can I sit on a request for consent before deciding to agree to the evaluation and returning the written agreement? 30 days? 60 days? 1 yr? indefinitely?

  2. IDEA says “within 60 days of receiving parental consent” however my state says “within 60 school days of receiving consent” Which one is the most legal?

    • Shelley – more information about timelines for different states. Not sure where you’re located, but you must check your own state special education regulations. You should find them here – just scroll down to find your state. We try to keep these up to date – but you will want to make sure you have the most current state regulations.

      • This is my state’s regulation 226.110 (d) Upon completion of the assessments identified pursuant to subsection (c)(3), but no later than 60 school days following the date the parent signs the written consent to perform the needed assessments, the determination of eligibility shall be made and the IEP meeting shall be completed.
        Since IDEA says this: (in 20 USC 1414a1ciI “to determine if a child is a child with a disability…within 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation or if the state establishes a timeframe within which the evaluation must be conducted…”) am I understanding correctly that the state timeline is the one we should follow?

  3. The IEP Team is continuing to request additional evaluations. It’s like they are piece-mealing it. First assessment, IQ, then a meeting is held to discuss and request additional ed eval, then another meeting held to discuss the eval and request additional assessments, etc. When does this stop??? Is the school taking advantage? Is this a legal loophole?

  4. IDEA does not address a timeline for additional testing/evaluations, so as Pete says, it is important to know if your state has a timeline for these. If your state does not, it is important to request that the IEP team state a timeline, when additional testing is approved. If they will not, a prior written notice of refusal should be provided to you.

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