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.

Continue Reading


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

Continue Reading



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


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.”

Continue Reading