September 11, 2013
TO THE ADMINISTRATOR ADDRESSED:
SUBJECT: Bilingual Education Exceptions/Waivers for English as a Second Language
Districts and charter schools are required to identify students of limited English proficiency (LEP) and to serve each student through bilingual education or English as a second language (ESL) programs (Texas Education Code (TEC) Chapter 29, Subchapter B).
A district or charter school that does not have the appropriately certified teachers to serve LEP students in accordance with Texas Education Code §29.054 must apply to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for a bilingual exception and/or ESL waiver. This application must be made each year there is a need for an exception and/or a waiver.
Bilingual Education Program Exception: Districts or charter schools that are unable to provide bilingual certified teachers to implement the bilingual program in the elementary grades are required by 19 TAC §89.1207(a) to request from the Commissioner of Education an exception to the bilingual education program and approval to offer an alternative program.
ESL Program Waiver: Districts or charter schools that are unable to provide ESL certified teachers to implement the ESL program are required by 19 TAC §89.1207(b) to request from the Commissioner of Education a waiver of the certification requirements for teachers who will provide ESL instruction.
The 2013-2014 Exception/Waiver Application must be requested via email from BilingualExceptions_ESLWaivers@tea.texas.gov. Please use “Exception/Waiver Request” in the subject line of the email. All applications are due on or before November 1, 2013 and must be submitted to TEA as an attachment and emailed to: BilingualExceptions_ESLWaivers@tea.texas.gov. The district Bilingual/ESL contact person may request an Exception/Waiver Application and complete it, but all completed applications must be submitted to TEA in an email directly from the superintendent.
If you have questions or need additional information regarding Bilingual Education Exceptions and/or ESL Waivers, please contact Susie Coultress, State Director of Bilingual/ESL/Title III/Migrant Education, at (512) 463-9581.
Interim Associate Commissioner
Standards and Programs