Excerpts from the Texas Dyslexia Handbook

Chuck Noe, PRN Education Specialist, shares excerpts of interest from the Texas Dyslexia Handbook (available online at https://www.region10.org/r10website/assets/File/DHBwithtabs10214.pdf)

“Texas has a long history of supporting the fundamental skill of reading. This history includes a focus on early identification and intervention for children who experience reading difficulties, including dyslexia.” and determining a student’s reading and spelling abilities and difficulties “In Texas, assessment for dyslexia is conducted from kindergarten through grade 12.”(page 6)

Continue Reading


HB 21 Passed in the 2017 Texas Legislature Special Session

Grant programs for students with Autism, and another for students with Dyslexia were approved. $20 million is budgeted to fund ten public or charter schools for each program for two years beginning in the 2018-19 school year. The programs are for children three through eight years of age. Parents must give consent for their child being in the program.

The programs must incorporate: evidence-based and research-based design; the use of empirical data on student achievement and improvement; parental support and collaboration; the use of technology; meaningful inclusion; the ability to replicate the program for students statewide.
Continue Reading


What is a REED?

REED is an acronym for Review of Existing Evaluation Data.  The following information about REEDs is excerpted from the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) webpage Review of Existing Evaluation Data Frequently Asked Questions:

A review of existing evaluation data (REED) is the process of looking at a student’s existing data to determine if additional data are needed as part of an initial evaluation (if appropriate) or as part of a reevaluation. Specifically, the group conducting the REED must determine whether further assessments are required to determine:

  • Whether the student has or continues to have a disability;
  • Whether the student’s present levels of academic achievement needs and related developmental needs have changed;
  • Whether the student needs or continues to need special education and related services; and
  • Whether the student needs any additions or modification to the special education and related services to meet the measurable annual goals set out in the individualized education program (IEP) and to participate, as appropriate, in the general education curriculum.

Continue Reading



Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)

Senate Bill 6 from the 82nd Texas Legislature, First Called Session, 2011, created an instructional materials allotment (IMA) for the purchase of instructional materials, technological equipment, and technology-related services.

Each district and open-enrollment charter school is entitled to an IMA. The amount of the IMA is determined biennially by the commissioner and is based on the legislative appropriation. Districts and open-enrollment charter schools have access to their allotment through the educational materials ordering system known as EMAT.


The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school districts to provide accessible versions of instructional materials to students who are blind or otherwise unable to use printed materials. Students with disabilities should receive materials in accessible formats at the same time as their peers receive their textbooks.

State-adopted accessible instructional materials, including braille, large-print, audio, and digital, are provided free of charge to eligible students, and the cost of these state-adopted accessible instructional materials is not deducted from the instructional materials allotment (IMA). However, if a district or open-enrollment charter school chooses to purchase accessible instructional materials that are not state-adopted, they are responsible for the cost of the materials and may use IMA funding to pay for them.

Continue Reading


TEA’s Special Education Data Sharing Request

On Monday, June 19, 2017, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) sent the following letter to school administrators titled “Special Education Data Sharing Request – Eligibility for Reimbursement“. Many parents might wonder if sharing IEPs with the state is a violation of confidentiality. FERPA rules allow state education agency staff to view records for several purposes, including research. We believe the U.S. Department of Education is most likely aware that this will be part of TEA’s response to their report of the investigation of special education services in Texas.
________________________________________

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is committed to supporting districts, schools, and teachers as we strive to serve all our students well. As educators, we share a commitment to ensuring that all students, including those with disabilities, achieve academic success.

As part of this continued commitment, we are embarking on a process to utilize data from many sources and stakeholders to inform our long-term policy and programmatic goals to improve outcomes for students served by special education. Your participation in this project is important because the data from a large sample will help to ensure that we create a plan that is effective and responsive to the needs of all our students.

Continue Reading


Feds to visit Texas to ask residents about special education

The U.S. Department of Education is coming to Texas to to continue an investigation into whether the state is illegally keeping students with disabilities out of special education services after learning of the Houston Chronicle articles on special ed services in TX.

Federal officials will hold public listening sessions” with students, parents, advocates and educators in Houston, Dallas, Austin, El Paso and Edinburg next month, the department said. The meetings will take place during the week of Dec. 12.

Continue Reading



Denied: How Texas keeps tens of thousands of children out of special education

A Houston Chronicle investigation has found that Texas has deprived thousands of kids of special education services.

…”Walker knew the law was on her side. Since 1975, Congress has required public schools in the United States to provide specialized education services to all eligible children with any type of disability.

But what she didn’t know is that in Texas, unelected state officials have quietly devised a system that has kept thousands of disabled kids like Roanin out of special education.

Continue Reading


Videotapping of Special Education Classrooms

TEA has just published proposed rules on SB 507 concerning the videotapping of special education classrooms.  The comment period runs until May 9th, 2016. At that time TEA staff will review the comments, and finalize the rules. They hope to have the rules go into effect by June 16, 2016.

So, what will these changes mean for your child?  Our Education Specialist, Chuck Noe, breaks down the proposed rules:

Continue Reading