For best results, consult your special education administrator

The 2024 Title IX rules were finally released. As you may recall, the Department of Education had proposed a new provision in the rules to require the Title IX Coordinator to consult with the IEP or Section 504 team throughout the implementation of the grievance procedures and specifically with respect to the implementation of supportive measures when a party in the grievance process is a student with a disability. While the intersection of Title IX, the IDEA, and Section 504 is complicated and sometimes an IEP or 504 meeting is warranted, the proposed requirements would have been burdensome and unworkable. A coalition of districts across the country worked with Thompson & Horton to submit comments to the Department flagging this concern.

PWN like a Pro

Does your team write prior written notices that communicate clearly to parents and protect the district in case of a dispute? Or are the PWNs somewhat lacking? After a long (possibly contentious) ARD meeting, drafting a cogent and detailed PWN can feel overwhelming. But its definitely worth the time and effort. A strong PWN can help avoid misunderstandings and provide compelling evidence in the event of a TEA or due process complaint.  

New Student? New Rules

When a student transfers to the district during the school year with an IEP, the IDEA provides rules for providing services to the student. If a student moves during the summer, the IDEA is silent, other than the general rule that an IEP must be in effect for all eligible students on the first day of school. The Texas regulations provide timelines to adopt or create a new IEP for transfer students, and revised regulations in effect starting this school year provide additional details and shorten some of those timelines. The requirements can seem a bit confusing because they vary depending on whether the student is transferring intrastate or interstate and during the school year or summer. We have summarized the requirements for you in the chart below.

New Accelerated Instruction Requirements Call for Changes to Policies & Procedures for 2023-2024

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.  

Don’t You Forget About Me: OSEP Policy Letter Sheds Light on Rights of Students Who Have Graduated 

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? 

IEP Spotlight: Dos and Don’ts of Annual Goals

Today, we continue a series of articles focused on the components of a great IEP. We previously posted about the importance of and tips for successful IEP implementation, progress monitoring, and the statement of PLAAFP. In this post, we will cover the annual statement of goals, which is another critical component of the IEP. Like the statement of PLAAFP, the statement of annual goals is an outcome determinative element of the IEP, meaning it can be the reason a hearing officer finds the district did or did not offer FAPE. Keep reading to understand what is required and how to ensure every IEP includes an effective and compliant statement of annual goals.