TEA has proposed changes in three sections of the state rules on students with disabilities. Public comment period on these proposed changes is Nov. 25 – December 27, 2016. The links for making comments on each of the 3 sections are available on the TEA website.

Hearings on the first 2 proposed rule changes (Division 2 & 7) will be held December 8 & 9, 2016 at the TEA building in Austin. People can sign up to comment each morning.

Please post your comments about the proposed rules below. You may see some changes or issues that I am overlooking.

89.1050(g) Proposed (4) “Each member of the ARD committee who disagrees with the IEP developed by the ARD committee is entitled to include a statement of disagreement in the IEP.” Removed [(4) When mutual agreement is not reached, a written statement of the basis for the disagreement must be included in the IEP. The parent who disagrees must be offered the opportunity to write his or her own statement of disagreement.]

Added 89.1050 (j) “The written statement of the IEP must document the decisions of the ARD committee with respect to issues discussed at each ARD committee meeting. The written statement must also include: (1) the date of the meeting; (2) the name, position, and signature of each member participating in the meeting; and (3) an indication of whether the child’s parents, the adult student, if applicable, and the administrator agreed or disagreed with the decisions of the ARD committee.”

Dispute Resolution 89.1151 – 89.1186 Wording changes that do not appear to make any marked changes.

§89.1191. Special Rule for Expedited Due Process Hearings. “A parent who disagrees with any decision regarding a child’s placement under 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.530 and §300.531, or a manifestation determination under 34 CFR, §300.530(e), or a school district that believes that maintaining the current placement of a child is substantially likely to result in injury to the child or others, may appeal the decision by requesting an [An] expedited due process hearing under 34 CFR, §300.532 . An expedited due process hearing will be governed by the same procedural rules as are applicable to due process hearings generally, except that:” Wording changes that do not seem to change previous wording.

Totally new “§89.1192. Attorneys’ Fees. In an action or proceeding brought under this division, a court, in its discretion, may award reasonable attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party under the circumstances described in 34 Code of Federal Regulations, §300.517.”

Proposed rule “(f) The TEA will select mediators on a random, rotational, or other impartial basis. If both parties join in requesting a specific mediator, the TEA will consider the request but reserves the right to make the final mediator selection based on availability, the need for equitable rotation, travel considerations, and other relevant mediation program considerations. The parties must advise the TEA of any preference they have in a mediator and must not contact a mediator to discuss the mediator’s availability to conduct the mediation. The TEA will provide the parties with written notice of the specific mediator selected to conduct the mediation.” Current rule [(f) The parties by agreement may select a mediator from the list maintained by the TEA. If the parties do not select a mediator by agreement, a mediator will be selected on a random basis by the TEA.]

Chapter 89. Adaptations for Special Populations Subchapter DD. Commissioner’s Rules Concerning High School Equivalency Programs

§89.1403. Student Eligibility. Appears to be changes in wording & references to state laws that do not change current rules.

Chuck Noe, Education Specialist