You know that LEAs have child find responsibilities for students enrolled in private schools that are located within the district’s boundaries, regardless of where the student resides. And that districts provide equitable services to students with disabilities enrolled in private schools that are located within the district’s boundaries, even if the student lives in another district. But what if the private school is a virtual school? What LEA is responsible for child find and equitable services when the students and educators may be scattered across the state – or even the country?
By Dianna D. Bowen and Taylor M. Montgomery
Thought your LEA’s Special Education Operating Procedures were good to go? You likely need to think again! As required by the Texas Education Agency (“TEA”), LEAs across the state worked hard to finalize and upload Special Education Operating Procedures for the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Committee sections of the Legal Framework by October 2020. At the time, most LEAs drafted separate procedures for each of the subsections under the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Committee sections in the Legal Framework. Since then, special education administrators have been actively working to review and revise these procedures to ensure accuracy and compliance with state and federal requirements while awaiting further guidance from TEA on drafting operating procedures for the remaining sections of the Legal Framework.
But instead of guidance on the remaining sections, TEA has released a series of templates (the “Legal Framework templates”) relating to the first three sections of the Legal Framework. By August 31, 2022, LEAs must re-upload Special Education Operating Procedures in accordance with the information in the Legal Framework templates. This includes new naming nomenclatures, certain content/topics, and answers to specific questions for each upload.
The Special Education Team at Thompson & Horton has been working with clients to ensure their Special Education Operating Procedures comply with the new requirements. Below are common questions and answers that we have been answering for LEAs during this process.