2008 IEE Noncompliance Finding

17 Years of Independent Educational Evaluation Noncompliance: Virginia Department of Education Fails Students and to Perform Its General Supervisory Duties

For at least 17 years, Virginia Department of Education has failed to ensure compliance with IDEA and state IEE special education regulations.

During the last four years, VDOE has failed to ensure that all local education agencies statewide have implemented the changes required by U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs findings in its June 23, 2020, differentiated monitoring and support report on VDOE.

Prince William County Public Schools Found at Fault for Systemic Noncompliance; Must Change Independent Educational Evaluation Practices

May 3, 2024, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) found Prince William County Public Schools (PWCPS) at fault for failure to implement federal and state special education regulations at a systemic level.

VDOE identified four counts of noncompliance related to PWCPS’ division-wide independent educational evaluation (IEE) practices, to include failure to follow U.S. Department of Education’s (USDOE) June 2020 required changes to Virginia Administrative Code (VAC).

VDOE Orders FCPS to Stop Delaying Provision of Compensatory Education and Reimbursable Expenses; IEPs Addressing Office for Civil Rights Findings Must Be Implemented

For over a year, Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has refused to fully implement consented to portions of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) — and treated the implementation of IEPs on a first-come, first-served basis.

That stops now.

How to File a Privacy Violation Complaint

Imagine your school or someone in the school division violates the privacy of your child. 

Can you file a complaint? If yes, how? Parents and/or students who believe a student’s privacy has been violated under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), have a right to file a complaint. FERPA applies to all students. However, students who have IEPs have additional protection under Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Let’s explore both below.

2008 IEE Noncompliance Finding

Updated 11.1.23—16 Years of Independent Educational Evaluation Noncompliance: Virginia Department of Education Fails Students and to Perform Its General Supervisory Duties

11.1.23: Article updated to include FCPS staff’s internal emails about how they made a decision to deny payment of an IEE in full at public expense. (See Lowballing Rates section below.) For at least sixteen years, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) failed to ensure compliance with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and implementing Virginia regulations.

In 2007, FCPS refused to fund Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE) at public expense and refused to file due process to defend its refusals to fully fund IEEs at public expense. An FCPS parent filed a state complaint and, in 2008, VDOE found FCPS at fault for failure to comply with IDEA and implementing Virginia regulations regarding IEEs.

During the 16 years that followed the 2007 complaint filing, the same noncompliance continued in FCPS and other Virginia local education agencies (LEAs).

UPDATE: VDOE Opens Systemic Complaint on FCPS: Denial of FAPE to Preschool, Honors, Foreign Language, and Day School Students

June 1, 2023: Article first published.

July 13, 2023: Article updated to include additional information Complainant submitted to VDOE; FCPS’s response to Complaint’s state complaint; and the timeline extension letter VDOE issued itself July 10, 2023, one day before VDOE’s Letter of Findings was due. VDOE set September 15, 2023, as the new due date.

September 18, 2023: Article updated to include VDOE’s second timeline extension letter, in which it changed its timeline from September 15 to October 31, 2023, as well as additional evidence provided to FCPS by Complainant.

May 23, 2023, Virginia Department of Education opened another systemic complaint investigation into Fairfax County Public Schools, in response to a complaint filed May 12, 2023.

The complaint alleges FCPS is at fault for systemic failures to provide FAPE, to include but not limited to failure to address the unique academic, behavioral and functional needs of its students; failures to appropriately place students; and failures to provide services to students who elect to enroll in Honors classes.


Dear VDOE: Is it Okay for Compliance Specialist to Judge, Joke at the Expense of Parent Advocating for Her Child?

Yesterday I shared comments from a Virginia Department of Education staff member, which appear in a Letter of Findings (LOF) to which she contributed.

Here’s another curious comment that appears in the same document:

“This is my justification for the length of the narrative in this case—they made me do it!! ? I wanted to separate the three categories of requests that Parent had initiated las summer — IEP, ESY, Reevaluation, Reading inventory testing. Sheesh. It shows the confusing atmosphere that FFX handled professionally. She was making lots of FFX staff work, sometimes in conflict with others. Please edit and make it better, ML.”

VA Dept. of Ed Opens Systemic Investigation into Fairfax County Public Schools: Team Composition

May 11, 2023, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) issued a Notice of Complaint (NOC) regarding Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) being in noncompliance regarding composition of IEP and eligibility team members.

The complaint alleges that specifically, since at least 2017, FCPS has engaged in the following: a) holding IEP meetings that are in noncompliance with IDEA and implementing state regulations; b) unauthorized practice without a license; c) unlicensed “diagnosis and treatment of human physical or mental ailments, conditions, diseases, pain, or infirmities”; d) procedural violation of Parent’s and Student’s opportunity to participate in the decision-making process regarding the provision of FAPE to Student.