ACTION REQUIRED 2015-2016
October 6, 2015
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
Changes to Special Education Monitoring for the 2015-2016 School Year
The purpose of this correspondence
is to notify districts and charter schools of important changes to special education
monitoring for the 2015-2016 school year.
Senate Bill 1, General
Appropriations Act, Rider 70 83rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session,
2013, required the Texas Education Agency (TEA or agency) to ensure all
accountability, monitoring, and compliance systems related to special education
are non-duplicative and unified and focus on positive results for students in
order to ease the administrative and fiscal burden on districts. The agency was
required to submit a report
to the 84th Texas Legislature regarding the agency’s efforts in
implementing the provisions of the rider, which includes recommendations
from stakeholders concerning this effort.
One recommendation from stakeholders
was to combine the three separate special education systems—(1) the State
Performance Plan (SPP) that includes the assignment of annual determination statuses
to districts; (2) the Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS); and
(3) the residential facilities (RF) monitoring system—into a single,
integrated, non-duplicative monitoring system. Another recommendation addressed
the continuation and improvement of the monitoring of districts that serve
students with disabilities who reside in RFs. These recommendations will be
implemented by the agency in the 2015-2016 school year.
INTERVENTION STAGE/DETERMINATION STATUS
TEA is integrating federally-required
district determinations into the overall Performance-Based Monitoring (PBM)
system. The four federal indicators that determine a district’s special
education determination status (2015 SPP compliance indicators 9, 10, 11, 12,
and 13; data integrity; uncorrected noncompliance; and audit findings) have
been assigned performance levels and are being evaluated along with the 2015 PBMAS
indicators to determine a district’s integrated stage of intervention/determination
status for special education. For the 2015-2016 school year, districts will receive
one of the following special education intervention stages/determination statuses:
Not Staged or Stage 1
Needs Substantial Intervention
CHANGE TO THE TEXAS ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE REPORT (TAPR)
As required by Texas Education Code
(TEC) §39.306(a)(3), each district’s current special education compliance
status with the agency is to be reported in an annual performance report
(currently implemented as the TAPR). Beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, districts’
special education integrated intervention stage/determination status will be
reported in the TAPR. The 2014-15 TAPR that will be released in November 2015
will provide the 2015-16 intervention stage/determination status for each
district on the cover page of the report.
OF DISTRICTS THAT SERVE STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES WHO RESIDE IN RFs
Districts that serve students with
disabilities who reside in RFs will no longer be assigned a separate intervention
stage. Serving students with disabilities who reside in RFs is a function of a
district’s overall special education program. Therefore, a district’s integrated
intervention stage/determination status will include intervention activities specific
to RF monitoring, as applicable.
RF TRACKER POLICY
Districts will continue to be responsible
for entering data into the RF Tracker to
identify special education students residing in RFs and the facilities where
these students live. TEA staff is currently working to determine if data
elements can be added to the Public Education Information Management System
(PEIMS) to be able to identify these students and facilities throughout the
state. However, until it is determined whether this can be accomplished,
districts continue to have the ongoing obligation to enter data into the RF Tracker.
Tracker is now open for districts to begin entering 2015-2016 data. Districts
that are required to complete the data collection can request access to the RF Tracker application
through the Texas Education Agency Secure Environment (TEASE) by completing an
on-line request form. Instructions for establishing access are available on the
website. District users who work within a shared services arrangement (SSA)
and need access to the application on behalf of more than one district must
submit a paper application in addition to completing the on-line request form.
The SSA application can be downloaded from the TEA website link referenced
above. Once access has been established, the RF
Tracker application can be accessed at the following link: https://seguin.tea.state.tx.us/apps/logon.asp.
Districts that entered data into the
RF Tracker data
collection system during the 2014-2015 program year will see their data rolled
forward into the 2015-2016 application. The purpose of this rollover is to
decrease data entry obligations for districts. However, it is important that districts review all of the
data that has been rolled forward into the 2015-2016 program year and revise it
as necessary to reflect accurate and current information.
For districts with RFs within their
boundaries or jurisdiction, a due date of November 20, 2015, has been established for
updating the RF Tracker
data to reflect the current status of each RF student and residential facility.
After November 20, 2015, the RF
Tracker system will remain open for data entry, and districts will
be responsible for maintaining current and accurate records in the system.
We appreciate your ongoing
dedication to continuous improvement for your district’s special education
program and ensuring students with disabilities receive a free, appropriate
public education. Should you have questions about this correspondence, please
contact Judy Struve in the Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions at
(512) 463-5226 or by email at Judy.Struve@tea.texas.gov.
Michael Greenwalt, Ed.D.
Director, Program Monitoring and