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.
Phase One of this process will take place in the summer of 2017 and involves sharing Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Records from up to 350,000 students in Independent School Districts (ISD) across Texas. Participating districts will be asked to share student IEP records and corresponding STAAR testing data for those students for the previous 3 years. Districts will receive a data sponsorship reimbursement between $10k-$100k, commensurate with district size, in addition to an individualized district level analytic report.
Districts who participated in this phase will be eligible to participate in the second phase of the project where additional grant funds will be made available. Phase two will use the data collected, as well as other data sources, to engage in a new design thinking process that will drive improvement of services provided to students served by special education in Texas.
TEA will be hosting a webinar on TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 2017 AT 2PM (CDT) to provide additional details and to answer any questions that you may have. We invite and encourage all to attend.
Webinar/Conference Call Link:
Event Password: Texas
Conference Call Option (Slides not available using this option):
Access Code: 667 607 529
TEA is partnering with SPEDx, a national consulting group focused on improving outcomes for students served by special education, on this project to aggregate data and identify trends. They are available to answer additional questions on the process and the resulting reporting. Matt Moeller firstname.lastname@example.org is the point of contact for the project, please do not hesitate to reach out to him. Funding for this project is provided by USDE as part of the IDEA grant.
Justin Porter Ed.D.
Special Populations Division
This letter is available on the TEA website at http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Special_Education_Data_Sharing_Request_-_Eligibility_for_Reimbursement/