Special Education in Residential Facilities

For those districts with residential care and treatment facilities within their boundaries or jurisdiction, in which students with disabilities have resided during the 2020-2021 school year, the due date for the completion of the RF Tracker data collection is July 15, 2021. The end-of-year date for districts reporting that students with disabilities reside in an RF is on or before May 28, 2021.

The RFT is used to collect data for students with disabilities who reside in residential care and treatment facilities within the geographic boundaries or jurisdiction of a local education agency (LEA). This data is used to inform stakeholders, such as educators, parents, and legislators, about the effectiveness of educational programs and student outcomes for students residing in residential facilities in accordance with Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §97.1072. RFT data is also used to support improved student performance and LEA 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.

School districts and charter schools are subject to residential facilities monitoring if they serve students with disabilities who reside in residential facilities (RFs) within their geographic boundaries or jurisdiction. For reporting and monitoring purposes, an RF is considered a facility that provides 24-hour custody or care of students with disabilities 22 years of age or younger 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 results of TEA’s annual data analysis determine the extent of intervention activities in which an RF district must engage and the related level of TEA involvement. Monitoring activities focus on data analysis by RF districts and the TEA to determine and address causal factors for program ineffectiveness or noncompliance. The agency may conduct on-site visits to review a broad array of program effectiveness and compliance issues. The result of all monitoring activities result in the development and implementation of any identified support needs, improvement plan, and plan for corrective actions, if needed.

Refer to the Texas Education Data Standards for specific RF Tracker data submission timelines.

Access the links below for additional guidance.

Beginning September 9, 2019 the Residential Facilities Tracker (RFT) will be available as a reporting feature in the Texas Student Data System (TSDS). 

The RF Tracker data collection will be made available to public schools to submit student level data for the 2020-2021 school year. LEAs should report information for all students with disabilities, served by the LEA, who reside in residential care and treatment facilities within the geographic boundaries or jurisdiction of their LEA in the 2020-2021 school year.

To assist the transition from the existing RF Tracker system to the new RF Tracker in the TSDS the following events will occur:

  • Residential Facility IDs will be migrated from the current system into TEA’s organizational data system included in AskTED. (this will be completed by TEA)
  • Following the migration completion, if there are any changes to an existing Residential Facility, the LEA will complete a  RFT Identification Form and submit via a TSDS Incident Management System (TIMS) ticket to notify TEA of the change(s).
  • To request a new Residential Facility ID, the LEA will complete a RFT Identification Form and submit via a TSDS Incident Management System (TIMS) ticket to notify TEA of the new facility’s existence within the geographic boundaries or jurisdiction of the LEA in order to meet the data reporting requirements.
  • Once the Residential Facility ID is assigned, LEA’s will be notified and will be able to complete the reporting requirements using the assigned ID within the TSDS for RFT.

RF Monitoring Stakeholder Committee Meeting

 As an adopted recommendation of the Rider 70 report, the TEA conducted a series of three stakeholder meetings focused on RF Monitoring. For more information about those meetings view the RF Monitoring Workgroup webpage.







Contact Information

 Division of Review and Support

Phone: (512) 463-9414

Email: ReviewandSupport@tea.texas.gov