Special Education

The Division of School Improvement, formerly known as the Program Monitoring and Interventions Division, develops and implements statewide review processes for special education (SPED). These processes promote program effectiveness, improve student performance, and monitor compliance for all students served through SPED programs. 

Intervention Activities

The agency’s monitoring and intervention activities focus on a data-driven and performance-based system through a continuous improvement model. Activities reflect an emphasis on

  • data integrity and analysis
  • needs assessment
  • improvement planning and implementation
  • monitoring
  • progress reporting. 

The SPED program is a part of the Performance-Based Monitoring (PBM) system. PBM uses the Performance-Based Monitoring Analysis System (PBMAS) to assign required intervention activities based on the district's annual performance on individual indicators and patterns across all indicators. Districts must collect and analyze data to identify areas for program improvement. Intervention guidance and resources are available to assist districts in conducting the required interventions.

Texas Accountability Intervention System

All districts staged for PBM interventions engage in the Texas Accountability Intervention System (TAIS). TAIS guides districts and campuses in a continuous improvement process with research-based resources and documents. As the state transitions to a more aligned accountability system, the focus shifts to a more integrated process for ongoing, sustained improvement. Districts and campuses must engage in the TAIS if the district or campus:

  • is rated Improvement Required (IR) based upon low performance on one or more of the four indexes of the performance index framework
  • misses one or more system safeguard targets
  • is staged for interventions in the PBM system, which includes multiple and single program areas

The level of support an LEA or campus receives is determined by:

  • current and longitudinal accountability ratings
  • current and longitudinal history of the PBM stages of intervention
  • system with the highest level of intervention

On-Site Review

TEA conducts a targeted on-site review to address concerns related to substantial, imminent, or ongoing risks reflected in current and longitudinal district data. The on-site procedures manual provides information regarding on-site reviews.

Following an on-site review, the district receives a preliminary on-site report with findings and required actions, which must be presented to the board of trustees or governing board and addressed by the district. 

A district must develop or update a targeted improvement plan in response to an on-site review and other data reviews, based upon findings from all data analysis and needs assessment activities. Findings of noncompliance must be presented to the board of trustees or governing board for discussion and action. Under the requirements of Texas Education Code §7.028(b), the board of trustees of a school district, or the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school, has primary responsibility for ensuring that the district, or school, complies with all applicable requirements of state educational programs, including SPED programs.

The authority to conduct on-site reviews is found in:

  • Texas Education Code (TEC) §39.056, On-Site Investigations, TEC §39.057, Special Accreditation Investigations
  • 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §97. 1071, Special Program Performance: Intervention Stages
  • 19 TAC §97.1072, Residential Facility Monitoring: Determinations, Investigations, and Sanctions
  • if applicable, conditions of the charter school contract and federal statutes and guidelines

Additional Resources

The information below and the documents on the intervention guidance and resources webpage help districts and campuses complete required intervention activities.

Additional Resources for Compliance Review

The compliance review documents focus on compliance issues to ensure that the district is implementing the SPED program as required by federal statute or regulation. A district must conduct a compliance review to determine if there any factors contributing to high levels of program concern as identified by certain PBMAS indicators. If noncompliance is found it must be addressed in the CAP.