In the wake of the pandemic, House Bill 4545 left school districts scrambling to figure out how to address learning loss for all students, including students with disabilities, through accelerated instruction. School districts were cautiously optimistic that the most recent legislative session would ease many of the burdens of House Bill 4545. In June 2023, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1416—otherwise known as the House Bill 4545 ‘Clean-Up Bill—which introduces new changes to the accelerated education environment. While House Bill 1416 narrows some requirements for school districts, it broadens others.
Phew! It’s the day after graduation, and your school district is finally off the hook for a potential state complaint you have been fearing the legal guardian of a student with disabilities would file against the district for months. Not so fast! On March 30, 2023, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) (part of the U.S. Department of Education) released a policy letter relating to the rights of students who have graduated. Letter to Oettinger, which is dated March 2, 2023, addresses the following issues:
(1) Must a State Educational Agency (SEA) resolve a complaint if the child who is the subject of the complaint has graduated?
(2) Must an SEA resolve a complaint that alleges systemic noncompliance based on facts related to a child who has graduated?
August is here, and at the beginning of the school year it’s time to think about graduation. That’s right, it’s never too early to plan for a student’s graduation and transition to post-secondary life. Waiting until spring to prepare for this change can lead to trouble. Here’s what you need to know.