Special Education in Residential Facilities

School districts and charter schools are subject to the residential facilities monitoring system (RFM) if they serve students with disabilities who reside in residential facilities (RFs) within their geographic boundaries or jurisdiction. In accordance with 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §97.1072, the RFM system provides standards and procedures for monitoring special education programs offered to students with disabilities residing in RFs. The RFM system has been established to improve performance and compliance with federal and state special education requirements for a unique and vulnerable population of students who often have limited access to family members who can advocate for their educational needs.

The definition of an RF, for the purposes of the RFM system, is a facility that provides 24-hour custody or care of students who reside in the facility for:

  • detention,
  • treatment,
  • foster care, or
  • any non-educational purpose.

An RF does not include traditional foster homes licensed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as Foster Family Homes (Independent).

The RFM system is a data-driven, results-based system of coordinated and aligned agency monitoring activities. Targeted and graduated interventions are implemented based on areas of risk, shown in historical monitoring data, longitudinal district performance, and district data submitted or available to the TEA. The RFM system focuses on program performance and effectiveness as well as program compliance with federal and state requirements and includes an annual analysis of data for each RF district in the state.

The results of TEA’s annual data analysis determine extent of intervention activities in which an RF district must engage and the related level of TEA involvement. Intervention activities will focus on data analysis by RF districts and the TEA to determine and address causal factors for program ineffectiveness or noncompliance. At higher stages of intervention, the agency may conduct an on-site visit to review a broad array of program effectiveness and compliance issues. The result of all intervention activities will be the development and implementation of a targeted improvement plan, with corrective actions, if needed.

For more information about residential facility monitoring download the RFM manual. LEAs that need help conducting required nonpublic interventions should view the RF monitoring guidance and resources webpage.