“Since your child just moved here, there is no reason to review the IEP.”

It’s time for another of Chuck’s Comments that Parents Hear posts!

How should you respond if the school says: “Since your child just moved here, there is no reason to review the IEP. We will just transfer the old goals to our new forms.”

Recall the Law

The regulations differentiate between a student who has transferred within the state and one who transferred from another state.

If the student came from another school within the same state, the new school “in consultation with the parents” must provide FAPE (Free Appropriate Public Education) to the child (including services comparable to those described in the child’s IEP from the previous public agency), until the new public agency either (1) Adopts the child’s IEP from the previous public agency; or (2) Develops, adopts, and implements a new IEP that meets the applicable requirements in 300.320 through 300.324.” 300.323(e)

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2017 Texas Bills Regarding Education

Chuck Noe, PRN Education Specialist, shares his insights on newly signed Texas legislation. Please keep in mind that even though a bill is effective immediately, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) must go through the process of developing and posting rules before schools can begin implementing some of the laws.


HB 1866

“Sec. 8.061.  DYSLEXIA SPECIALIST. Each regional education service center shall employ as a dyslexia specialist a person licensed as a dyslexia therapist under Chapter 403, Occupations Code, to provide school districts served by the center with support and resources that are necessary to assist students with dyslexia and the families of students with dyslexia.”

Currently, students in kindergarten thru second grade must be tested for dyslexia and related disorders.  Now students in kindergarten and first grade must also be screened at the end of the school year.  The question becomes, will the Texas Education Agency (TEA) feel that schools must do much if anything different than what they are currently doing.

TEA must annually develop a list of training opportunities regarding dyslexia.  At least one of these must be available online.  These opportunities must comply with the knowledge and practice standards of an international dyslexia organization, enable an educator to understand and recognize dyslexia as well as implement instruction that is systemic, explicit, and evidence-based to meet the educational needs of a student with dyslexia.

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Texas Legislative Update for June 2017

Chuck Noe, PRN Education Specialist,  shares his insights on newly signed Texas legislation.  Please keep in mind that even though a bill is effective immediately, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) must go through the process of developing and posting rules before schools can begin implementing some of the laws.

HB 657 

An ARD committee (IEP team) may promote a student to the next grade level if the committee concludes that the student has made sufficient progress in the measurable academic goals contained in the student’s IEP despite not passing the STAAR.  At the beginning of each school year, a district must inform parents of the options of the ARD committee if the student does not perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument.  Effective immediately

HB 1645 

If a district allows a student to participate in a Special Olympics event, they must allow the student to earn a district letter.  This seems to be addressing a “fairness” or discrimination issue.  Effective immediately

SB 160

TEA may not adopt or implement a performance indicator in any agency monitoring system, including the performance-based monitoring analysis system, that solely measures a school district’s or open-enrollment charter school’s aggregated number or percentage of enrolled students who receive special education services.  TEA may still collect and examine data to determine whether significant disproportionality based on race or ethnicity is occurring in the state and in the school districts and open-enrollment charter schools.  Effective 5/22/2017

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Texas Success Initiative and Postsecondary Education

Traditionally students with disabilities could enroll in any educational institution (community college, junior college, four year college/university), trade school or technical institute that would accept them. Recently, Texas passed legislation (Texas Success Initiative – TSI) designed to help postsecondary institutions determine, if a student is ready for college level coursework.

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Facilitated IEPs in Texas

In the last ten years, Texas has taken interest in the growing use of “facilitated IEPs” to assist in dealing with “difficult” IEP meetings and resolving disagreements.  In 2013, the Texas passed legislation addressing facilitated IEPs.  IEP facilitation offered by a school is now an option for resolving disputes.

TAC 89.1196 (a)  – IEP facilitation “refers to a method of alternative dispute resolution that involves the use of a trained facilitator to assist an admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee in developing an IEP for a student with a disability. The facilitator uses facilitation techniques to help the committee members communicate and collaborate effectively. While public schools are not required to offer IEP facilitation as an alternative dispute resolution method, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) encourages the use of IEP facilitation as described in this section.”

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Proposed TEA Rules on Special Education

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. Continue Reading


Development of TX Rules on Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Importance of Input from Parents of Children with Disabilities & Advocates

The ESSA is replacing the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).  The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is the lead agency developing the Texas state plan which must determine how the new federal law will affect accountability, funding, school improvement, and grant-making systems.  “The passage of ESSA has created a unique opportunity to inform Texas’ education policy,” said Commissioner Morath. “However, we need input from all parts of our state to ensure that, under ESSA, all students in Texas can receive a high-quality education that prepares them for the future.”

The online ESSA survey, which will take less than ten minutes to complete, is available at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3003630/ESSA-Public-Input-Survey. The online survey provides an opportunity for anyone to share views on how the state should implement provisions of ESSA. The survey period will run through Nov. 18, 2016.

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Cameras in the Classroom

During the 2015 session, the Texas legislature passed a law (SB 507) requiring video tapping in certain special education classrooms in Texas public schools; an action that drew national attention.  SB 507 addresses safety concerns that had become an issue for many parents of children in special education classrooms and settings. The stated purpose of the law is “to promote student safety”.  At the request of a parent, trustee, or staff member, school districts, and open-enrollment charter schools “shall provide equipment, including a video camera, to each school in the district or each charter school campus in which a student who receives special education services in a self-contained classroom or other special education setting is enrolled.”

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