Yes. If you disagree with a school district’s assessment, you must specifically ask the district (preferably in writing to document the request timeline) to pay for an independent educational evaluation (IEE). It is very important that you state your request in the form of a disagreement with a particular assessment.
When the school district receives your request for an IEE, the school district has only two options: Fund the IEE or File for Due Process. If you request an IEE, the school district may ask you why you are disagreeing with the school district’s evaluation. The school district cannot require you to provide an explanation.
Under federal regulations, the district must respond to your request for an IEE “without unnecessary delay”. The district must not “unreasonably delay” providing the IEE or filing for due process. If it does either, it has failed to comply with the law. You could file a compliance complaint to ask the CDE to determine whether the school district should fund an IEE under those circumstances. [34 C.F.R. 300.502(b); Cal. Ed. Code Sec. 56329 (b) & (c).]