Law Offices of H. Jeffrey Marcus P.C.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
OSEP says that RTI can not be used to delay or deny evaluation under the IDEA
In a recently issued policy letter, the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) advised that a response-to-intervention (RTI) process cannot delay the initial evaluation for special education services of a child suspected of having a disability. The federal special education regulations allow a parent to request an evaluation at any time to determine whether her child is a child with a disability. Apparently, schools have been delaying or denying the requests to evaluate pointing to the use of RTI procedures as justification. OSEP concludes that if a parent requests an evaluation and the district agrees that the child may be eligible for special education, the district must evaluate the child. If the district denies the request for the evaluation, the district must provide notice to the parent explaining why they refuse to evaluate and the information that was used as a basis for the decision. The parent can then challenge the refusal to evaluate through the impartial hearing process.