Individualized education program (IEP)
a method of alternative dispute resolution that involves the use of a
facilitator to assist an admission, review, and dismissal (ARD)
developing an IEP for a student with a disability. The
facilitator uses facilitation techniques to help the committee members
communicate and collaborate effectively. A student’s school or the state
may provide a facilitator for an ARD committee meeting. While schools
are not required to offer IEP facilitation as an alternative dispute
method, TEA encourages the use of IEP
facilitation. Facilitation must
be voluntary on the part of the participants and must be provided at no
cost to the parents. Additionally, no one may use facilitation to deny
or delay the right to pursue a special education
complaint, mediation, or due process hearing in accordance with federal
is not a member of the ARD committee and has no decision making authority over
the ARD committee meeting. The
facilitator must be impartial and cannot provide input or an opinion into the
development of a student’s IEP.
A facilitator assists with the overall organization
and conduct of the ARD committee meeting by:
- assisting the committee in establishing an agenda
and setting the time allotted for the meeting,
- assisting the committee in establishing a set of
guidelines for the meeting,
- guiding the discussion and keeping the focus on
developing a mutually-agreed-upon IEP for the student,
- ensuring that each committee member has an
opportunity to participate,
- helping to resolve disagreements that arise, and
- helping to keep the ARD committee on task and
within the time allotted for the meeting.
Schools that choose to offer
IEP facilitation in accordance with Texas Education Code § 29.019 must provide
information to parents regarding facilitation, including a description of any
applicable procedures for requesting facilitation. The information provided to parents must be
included with other information provided to the parent of a student with a
disability, although it may be provided as a separate document and may be
provided in a written or electronic format.
The school may choose to use independent contractors,
employees, or other qualified individuals as facilitators.
parent who is interested in local facilitation should contact his or her
student’s school and follow local procedures to request that a facilitator
be present at the student’s ARD committee meeting.
TEA has established a program that provides
independent IEP facilitators in accordance with Texas Education Code §29.020. State
IEP facilitation has the same general meaning described above except that state
IEP facilitation is used when the ARD committee is in dispute about decisions
relating to the provision of a free, and appropriate public education to a
student with a disability and the facilitator is an independent facilitator
provided by the TEA.
a parent and a school want to request an independent facilitator, the parent
and the school must complete the Request for a State Facilitated Individualized Education Program Meeting form (English | Spanish). Additionally, an
interested party may contact TEA’s Division of Special Education at (512) 463-9414 and request a copy of the form. Upon completion,
the form must be filed with TEA by the parent or by the school through
mail, hand-delivery, or
Texas Education Agency
Division of Special Education
William B. Travis Building
1701 N. Congress Avenue
Austin TX 78701-1494
Fax: (512) 463-9560
For TEA to provide an independent
facilitator, the following conditions must be met:
parent and the school must complete and sign the required form.
dispute must relate to an ARD committee meeting in which the committee did not
reach mutual agreement about the required elements of the IEP and in which the
ARD committee has agreed to recess and reconvene the meeting in accordance with
19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §89.1050.
parent and the school must file the request for an IEP facilitation within five
calendar days of the ARD committee meeting that ended in disagreement, and a
facilitator must be available on the date set for reconvening the meeting.
dispute must not relate to a manifestation determination (a meeting to determine if a student's behavior is substantially linked to the student's disability) or determination of
interim alternative educational setting.
same parties must not be concurrently involved in special education mediation.
issues in dispute must not be the subject of a special education complaint or of
a special education due process hearing.
parent and the school must not have participated in IEP facilitation about the same student within the same school year of the filing of the current
request for IEP facilitation.
five business days of receipt of a request for an IEP facilitation under this
section, TEA will determine whether the required conditions have been met and
will notify the parent and the school of its determination and the assignment
of the independent facilitator, if applicable.
may make the independent facilitator assignment based on a combination of
factors, including but not limited to geographic location and availability. If
assigned, the independent facilitator will promptly contact the parties to
clarify the issues, gather necessary information, and explain the IEP
TEA decides not to provide an independent facilitator, TEA will notify the
parent and the school of the decision. TEA’s decision is final, and is not subject to review or appeal.
You may address questions related to the state IEP facilitation program
to the Division of Special Education at 512-463-9414.