Happy Diagnostician's Week
March 5 - 9, 2018
TEDA (@TEDA_Diags) and Hou-Met celebrate March 5 – 9, 2018 in honor of educational diagnosticians who consistently demonstrate professionalism, competence, & excellence in order to provide individuals with disabilities quality educational services.

Hou-Met Annual LuncheonSAVE THE DATESaturday, May 19, 201811:00 AM
Seasons 52
4410 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77027

Hou-Met Scholarship Applications 2018
Professional Scholarship Application 2018
Student Scholarship Application 2018

Congratulations to the Scholarship winners for 2017!

Professional Scholarship
Deborah Ransaw-Evans, Texas A & M University-Texarkana

Student Scholarship//
Marquez C., James Madison High School, Houston ISD
William C., Hardin-Jefferson High School, Hardin-Jefferson ISD
Brittany S., Caney Creek High School, Conroe ISD

Hou-Met BoardOfficers for 2017 -2018President --- Lori HarrisPresident-Elect --- Agathe BourgetVice President --- Kevin Melgaard Secretary --- Cynthia EdwardsTreasurer -- Brenda KeysPast President -- Dr. Alena Wilson
TEDA Membership Year - Join or Renew Now
The TEDA membership year begins August 1 annually. Renew your membership and remember to select Region 4 – Hou-Met as your local chapter. The 2017 - 2018 TEDA Membership Form is available
online or download here. TEDA now offers liability insurance for its Student Affiliate Members.

Hou-Met - Twitter
Follow us at Twitter: @houmetchapter
Hou-Met Bylaws
Hou-Met members approved the revised chapter bylaws during the General Membership Meeting on November 12, 2014. Download the updated bylaws at the link: Hou-Met Bylaws (November 2014) .

TEA & Capitol News

Special Education Services Corrective Action Plan

TEA has posted a letter to administrator addressed (2/26/2018) addressing:

"Responsibilities and Timelines Regarding Parent Requests for Special Education Evaluations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Texas Education Code (TEC), and the Texas Administrative Code (TAC).

https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Responsibil ities_and_Timelines_Regarding_Parent_Requests_for_Special_Education_Evaluations_under_the_ Individuals_with_Disabilities_Education_Act_(IDEA),_TEC,_and_TAC/

Open Public Comments Period - Special Education Services Corrective Action Plan
”At the direction of Governor Greg Abbott, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has drafted an initial corrective action plan regarding the support and delivery of special education services in our state’s public schools.” 1/18/18

"TEA will be accepting an initial round of public comments on the draft plan through Feb. 18. A website has been established providing a copy of the draft, an overview of TEA’s outreach efforts with various stakeholders, and an email address to provide comment.

Following the initial round of public comments and stakeholder engagement, a revised draft plan will be available on or around March 1. Additional public comment will be accepted through March 31”

Go to https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Press_Releases/2018/TEA_drafts_corrective_action_plan_for_special_education/ and https://tea.texas.gov/TexasSPED/

Corrective Action/Next Steps US DOE Report
US Department of Education Report on Texas Special Education.

“V. Corrective Action/Next Steps
Within a timeframe agreed to by OSEP and TEA upon the issuance of this letter, the State must
provide OSEP with each of the following.

1. Documentation that the State’s system of general supervision requires that each ISD
identifies, locates, and evaluates all children suspected of having a disability who need
special education and related services, in accordance with section 612(a)(3) of the IDEA
and its implementing regulation at 34 CFR §300.111, and makes FAPE available to all
eligible children with disabilities in accordance with section 612(a)(1) of the IDEA and its
implementing regulation at 34 CFR §300.101.

2. A plan and timeline by which TEA will ensure that each ISD will (i) identify, locate, and
evaluate children enrolled in the ISD who should have been referred for an initial
evaluation under the IDEA, and (ii) require IEP Teams to consider, on an individual basis,
whether additional services are needed for children previously suspected of having a
disability who should have been referred for an initial evaluation and were later found
eligible for special education and related services under the IDEA, taking into
consideration supports and services previously provided to the child.

3. A plan and timeline by which TEA will provide guidance to ISD staff in the State,
including all general and special education teachers, necessary to ensure that ISDs (i)
ensure that supports provided to struggling learners in the general education environment
through RTI, Section 504, and the State’s dyslexia program are not used to delay or deny a
child’s right to an initial evaluation for special education and related services under the
IDEA; (ii) are provided information to share with the parents of children suspected of
having a disability that describes the differences between RTI, the State dyslexia program,
Section 504, and the IDEA, including how and when school staff and parents of children
suspected of having a disability may request interventions and/or services under these
programs; and (iii) disseminate such information to staff and the parents of children
suspected of having a disability enrolled in the ISD’s schools, consistent with 34 CFR
§300.503(c) .

4. A plan and timeline by which TEA will monitor ISDs’ implementation of the IDEA
requirements described above when struggling learners suspected of having a disability
and needing special education and related services under the IDEA are receiving services
and supports through RTI, Section 504, and the State’s dyslexia program.”
Go to https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-department-education-issues-findings-texas-indiv iduals-disabilities-education-act-monitoring

Governor Abbott’s Letter to Morath in response.
“Going back to 2004, the letter points to multiple failures by local school districts to adequately address the needs of our most vulnerable students. Of particular concern were local compliance failures stemming from the long-standing 8.5 percent representation policy. Such failures are not acceptable, and TEA must take steps now to significantly increase the oversight provided to ensure our special education students are receiving the services they deserve.”


Dallas News on the Fed Response to Texas
The Dallas news also has an article on the Fed Response to Texas. See https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2018/01/11/texas-broke-special-education-laws-de liberately-delayed-services-kids-need-federal-investigation-finds

The federal government has responded to TEA in regards to under identification in special ed due to the 8.5 guidance. See information at https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/11/us/texas-special-education.html

LPAC 2018 Data
LPAC 2018 data has been posted to the TEA website at https://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/ell/lpac/

The 2018 Coordinator’s Manual Active Links
Parts of the 2018 Coordinator’s Manual have active links of the TEA website. See details at https://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/manuals/dccm/

Houston Area Districts Pilot New Accountability System
The Chronicle posted an article saying Four Houston area school districts to pilot new accountability system (12/19/17). See link at http://www.chron.com/news/education/article/Four-Houston-area-school-districts-to-pilot-ne w-12441490.phpand https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Press_Releases/2017/20_school_systems_part_of_local_academic_accountability_system_pilot/

Commissioner of Education Rules

The following rule action was filed with the Texas Register on Monday, December 11, 2017, for publication in the December 22, 2017 issue:

Proposed Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 103, Health and Safety, Subchapter DD, Commissioner's Rules Concerning Video Surveillance of Certain Special Education Settings
Summary: The proposed revisions would amend 19 TAC §103.1301, Video Surveillance of Certain Special Education Settings, and add new 19 TAC §103.1303, Commissioner's Review of Actions Concerning Video Cameras in Special Education Settings. The proposed amendment and new rule would reflect requirements in Senate Bill (SB) 1398, 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017.
Public Comment Period: December 22, 2017 – January 22, 2018.
Public Hearing Notice: A public hearing to solicit testimony and input on the proposed amendment and new rule will be held at 8:30 a.m. on January 8, 2018, in Room 1-104, William B. Travis Building, 1701 North Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas 78701. Anyone wishing to testify at the hearing must sign in between 8:15 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. on the day of the hearing. The hearing will conclude once all who have signed in have been given the opportunity to comment. Speakers are encouraged, but are not required, to provide written copies of their testimony. Individuals who wish to provide written testimony may do so at the time of the meeting. Interpreters for the deaf and Spanish speakers will be available. Individuals requiring additional special assistance should contact TEA's Division of Special Education at (512) 463-9414 no later than January 3, 2018. To view the hearing notices online, go tohttp://texreg.sos.state.tx.us/public/pubomquery$omquery.QueryViewByKey?P_OM_ID=202108&Z_CHK=28206.
Earliest Possible Date of Adoption: January 22, 2018.
Proposed Effective Date: March 14, 2018.

Please see the TEA website to view adopted commissioner of education rules.

Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you.

Texas Education Agency
(512) 475-1497

Harvey-Affected Areas and Test Scores
Texas will not hold back students in Harvey-affected areas based on test scores (12/14/17)
https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Hurricane_Harvey_Related_Elimination_of_Certain_Retesting_Requirements_for_the_Student_Success_Initiative_in_Grades_5_and_8,_Update_on_Testing_Schedules_and_Accountability_Waiver_Request/ and http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/Texas-Education-Agency-will-not-rat e-12431893.php

Hurricane Harvey Additional Waiver Requests
TEA announced that it intends to apply for “Additional Waiver Requests Due to Devastation Caused by Hurricane Harvey” (12/14/17) See https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Additional_ Waiver_Requests_Due_to_Devastation_Caused_by_Hurricane_Harvey/

Hurricane Harvey Schools Grading
The Chronicle reported that “Abbott suggests hitting pause button in grading schools hit hardest by Harvey.” 12/12/17 Go to http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/education/article/Gov-Abbott-Re-examine-accountabilit y-testing-12425387.php

Updated Side-by-Side and Procedural Safeguards
The legal framework has posted the updated side by side and procedural safeguards (12/1/17) Find this information at https://framework.esc18.net/display/Webforms/ESC18-FW-UpdatesAuto.aspx?DT=G&LID=en

TEA Special Education Director Firing
More on the firing of the Director of Special Education at TEA Go to http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Former-state-special-education-director-s ays-TEA-12417518.php


Former state special education director says TEA knew about allegations against her
Text messages provided to the Houston Chronicle between Laurie Kash, the state special education director, and her supervisor Justin Porter show the agency was aware of alleged misconduct in her former school district.

**Former state special education director says TEA knew about allegations against her**
Text messages provided to the Houston Chronicle between Laurie Kash, the state special education director, and her supervisor Justin Porter show the agency was aware of alleged misconduct in her former school district

The 2018 Accommodations page Live Links
TEA has added additional live links to the related resources section of the 2018 Accommodations page. Go to https://tea.texas.gov/Student_Testing_and_Accountability/Testing/Student_Assessment_Overvi ew/Accommodation_Resources/2018_Accessibility/

Advocates Call for Closing of all State-Run Youth Lockups
Chronicle reports Texas juvenile justice advocates call for closing of all state-run youth lockups (11/30/2017) Read more at http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Advocates-Close-all-state-run-youth-locku ps-12396546.php

OSEP Funds Nine Centers and Projects
CEC reports OSEP Funds Nine Centers and Projects to Support IDEA. (12/1/17) Go to http://www.policyinsider.org/2017/12/osep-funds-nine-centers-and-projects-to-support-idea. html

State's Special Education Director Fired
The chronicle has reported that the state's special education director was fired last week after she filed a federal complaint against the Texas Education Agency for awarding a multi-million dollar, no-bid contract to a company that is mining data on disabled students. (11/29/2017) Details at http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Firing-leaves-Texas-without-a-special-edu cation-12393184.php

Correspondence to District Letters on Alternative Assessments and December EOC’s
Two recent correspondence to district letters have been posted on the TEA website in regards to state assessment. One announces that TEA is requested a waiver to the 1% rule on Alternative Assessments (11/10/17). The other deals with gathering data on students impacted by Harvey on the December EOC’s (11/14/17). Read information at https://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/correspondence/

State Cuts in ECI Funding
The Houston Chronicle reported that State cuts in ECI funding over the last few years has led to a significant drop in therapy for young children on Gulf Coast. 11/29/2017 Read story at http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Report-state-cuts-led-to-21-percent-drop- in-12393386.php
Final Accountability Ratings for 2017
TEA has released final accountability ratings for 2017. Details are at https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Press_Releases/2017/Final_2017_academi c_accountability_ratings_released/

Harvey and STAAR Assessment
Houston Chronicle posted an article on the STAAR assessment addressing why the commissioner feels it will not be cancelled due to Harvey. Go to http://www.chron.com/news/education/article/Texas-could-lose-federal-schools-funding-if-it -12357599.php

The 2018 Educator Guide to Accessibility Within the STAAR
TEA has posted the 2018 Educator Guide to Accessibility Within the STAAR Program (Nov 2017). See information at https://tea.texas.gov/Student_Testing_and_Accountability/Testing/Student_Assessment_Overvi ew/Accommodation_Resources/2018_Accessibility/

SB 7 Requirement for Pre-Employment Affidavit for Educators
TEA has posted information about SB 7’s requirement for Pre-Employment Affidavit for Educators. (11/13/17) See details at https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Pre-Employm ent_Affidavit_for_Educators/

Signed/Oral Administration Guidelines for 2017/18
TEA has updated the signed/oral administration guidelines for 2017/18 school year. (11/3/17) See guidelines at https://tea.texas.gov/Student_Testing_and_Accountability/Testing/Student_Assessment_Overvi ew/Accommodation_Resources/2018_Accessibility/

Essence Statements and Administrator Manual for STAAR Alt 2
Essence statements and the administrator manual for this school’s STAAR Alt 2 have been posted. (10/20/17 and 10/27/17). Thanks, Frieda, for catching that one. Information is at https://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/special-ed/staaralt/

Legislative Briefing Book
The Legislative Briefing Book for the 85th legislative session has been posted to the TEA website. Go to https://tea.texas.gov/Reports_and_Data/Legislative_Reports/Legislative_Briefing_Book/

Dear College Letter Regulation Documents Rescinded
Over 60 Dear College letter regulation documents are being rescinded as part of the deregulation process at the federal level.See details at https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2017/10/20/trump-rescinds-special-ed-guidance/24323/

Fall STAAR Alt 2 Update
The Fall STAAR Alt 2 update from 10/13/17 power point has been posted to the TEA website (10/17/17).Go to https://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/special-ed/staaralt/

TEA Harvey Page Updates
There have been several updated over the last week to the Harvey page on the TEA website.

TELPAS PowerPoint
The TELPAS page has posted updated training power point presentations. (9/19/2017)

Disability Scoop: Federal Healthcare Bill
Disability Scoop posted an article discussing concerns about the proposed changes to the federal healthcare bill. (9/19/17)

Hurricane Harvey Enrollment Guidance
Hurricane Harvey Enrollment Guidance has been issued by TEA. (8/31/17)

Hurricane Missed Days
TEA has also posted information about how missed days due to the Hurricane will be handled. (9/1/17)

2018 Accommodations
The 2018 Accommodations page on the TEA website now has some active links.

TETN’s for state assessment and TELPAS
There are TETN’s set up for 9/12/17 on accessibility features for state assessment and TELPAS.

Governor Signs Senate Bill 7
Governor Greg Abbott today signed Senate Bill 7, relating to improper relationships between educators and students and the reporting of educator misconduct. Commissioner of Education Mike Morath issued a state in response. (5/25/2017)See link at http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Press_Releases/2017/Statement_of_Commis sioner_Morath_regarding_signing_of_SB_7/

SSI Information for GPC ARDs
Results from the second round of testing for 5th and 8th graders should be in districts on the 30th. Below is a link to the SSI page on the TEA website for those who will be chairing GPC ARDs. Go to http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/ssi/

HB 3976 - Retired Teachers/Employees Insurance Coverage
HB 3976, a bill dealing with retired teachers/employees insurance coverage, has passed both the house and senate and is on the way to the Governor to be signed into law. See http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Changes-in-retired-teachers-pension-get-S enate-OK-11162968.php – and - http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=85R&Bill=HB3976

Foster Care Students
TEA has posted updated information about Foster Care Students in general and has created a document about transition services for those students in foster care receiving special education services (4/28/17)
http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Press_Releases/2017/New_resources_suppo rting_educational_needs_of_students_in_foster_care_now_available/ and http://tea.texas.gov/FosterCareStudentSuccess/Resources/

CSR document for State Assessment
TEA has created a new CSR document for state assessment (4/26/17)
http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/News_and_Multimedia/Correspondence/TAA_Letters/Introducing_ the_New_Confidential_Student_Report_(CSR)/

CEC Concerns about Proposed Medicaid Cuts
CEC has expressed concerns about the noted cuts to Medicaid in the proposed health care bill. (5/1/17)
http://www.policyinsider.org/2017/05/american-health-care-act-slashes-services-to-children -and-jobs-for-professionals-tell-congress-today.html

SB 160 Regarding Special Education Cap
SB 160, one of the bills dealing with the question of a cap on the number of special education students in Texas, is getting closer to being signed into law. See http://www.chron.com/news/politics/texas/article/Senate-passes-bill-to-bar-Texas-from-ever -again-11084587.php and http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/SB00160E.pdf#navpanes=0

Legislature Responds to FIIE Timeline Concerns - House Bill 11 Section 1.13**
Texas Representative Four Price's office confirmed the commitment to:
  1. Retain the existing 45 school day timeline for the FIIE;
  2. Keep the 15 days for school to respond to a parent’s request for an FIIE; and
  3. Maintain the current timeline regarding test consent received at least 35 but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year requires completed FIIE report to the parent by June 30.

STAAR with Embedded Supports Non-Secure Front Matter
STAAR with Embedded Supports Non-Secure Front Matter documents and other related resources have been posted to the TEA website at http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/accommodations/

Medicaid Refinancing Proposal
CEC is concerned that the Medicaid refinancing proposal the House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering - as soon as next week - jeopardizes health care for the nation’s most vulnerable children: children with disabilities and children in poverty. (3/3/17) See details at http://www.policyinsider.org/2017/03/tell-congress-to-vote-no-on-medicaid-refinancing-prop osal.html

School Finance and Vouchers
Texas House and Senate are in discussion about school finance and vouchers. See recent Houston Chronicle article (3/3/17) See http://www.chron.com/local/texas-politics/texas-legislature/article/House-ready-to-pitch-school-finance-plan-Senate-10974638.php

TRS Active Care, Proposed Bill, SB 789
Those of you who participate in TRS Active Care, may want to look at the proposed bill, SB 789 from the current/85thLegislative Session. Links below are for the actual bill and for a site discussing the bill’s implications.
http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=85R&Bill=SB789 and http://www.teachthevote.org/news/category/trs/

TEA News is courtesy of Lori Harris, Educational Diagnostician - Crosby ISD