I need to know the legal responsibilities of the school when a parent requests in writing that their child be tested for Gifted/Talented and or learning abilities or disabilities.
It is my understanding that the school MUST provide testing withing 60 days of the written request. When the school does not do the testing, they must pay for and send the parent to another testing facility that will provide the testing.
You are mostly right. When you make a request in writing, the school must respond within 60 days, but the response may be that they are not going to conduct the evaluation. In that case, they must tell you why, and they must provide notice of your rights.
Hopefully, your child's school will respond accordingly with a plan to test, but depending upon their initial opinion of a child's learning strengths and weaknesses, they may opt for a plan in which they apply some simple interventions in the classroom (e.g., moving a child to the front of the classroom or closer to the teacher's desk) as a form of pre-assessment. Occasionally, schools will employ a more sophisticated approach called, Response to Intervention (RTI) in which they apply empirically proven interventions to see what works, doesn't work, learn about the child's abilities that way.
If your request for an evaluation is denied, you can contact your state Parent Training and Information Center for additional information and resources:
If you provide in writing that you would like to have your child tested by the school district and date that paper - the school has 15 days to get a plan put together for you. Then they have 60 days to conduct the testing. If they do not follow that time schedule then they are NOT in compliance. This only means that you can take legal action against them to get the testing done.
The school district has 60 calendar days to conduct assessment (if they agree to assess) AND hold an IEP meeting. If not, they are indeed out of compliance. however it is very common for districts to not meet this deadline and a fair hearing is the only way that you can legally require a school district to comply. A first step should be to write a letter to the director of special education for your school district and inquire as to why testing timelines are not being adhered to. This will usually solve the problem.