TITLE 19. EDUCATION

PART 2. TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY

CHAPTER 74. CURRICULUM REQUIREMENTS

SUBCHAPTER C. OTHER PROVISIONS

19 TAC §74.27

The State Board of Education (SBOE) adopts an amendment to §74.27, concerning innovative courses and programs. The amendment is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 4, 2019 issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 5713) and will not be republished. The adopted amendment updates the rule to modify the requirements for approval of innovative courses, specifies that innovative courses cannot be approved if they substantially duplicate the content of Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)-based courses, and adds requirements for review of ethnic studies innovative courses approved by the commissioner.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION: After the SBOE adopted new rules concerning graduation requirements, the experimental courses previously approved were phased out as of August 31, 1998. As a result of the adoption of the TEKS, school districts now submit new requests for innovative course approval for courses that do not have TEKS. The process outlined in §74.27 provides authority for the commissioner of education to approve discipline-based courses but reserves for SBOE review and approval those courses that do not fall within any of the subject areas of the foundation or enrichment curriculum.

Each year, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) provides the opportunity for school districts and other entities to submit applications for proposed innovative courses. The adopted amendment modifies the requirements for approval of innovative courses, specifies that innovative courses cannot be approved if they substantially duplicate the content of TEKS-based courses, and adds requirements for review of ethnic studies innovative courses approved by the commissioner.

The SBOE approved the proposed amendment for first reading and filing authorization at its September 13, 2019 meeting and for second reading and final adoption at its November 15, 2019 meeting.

In accordance with TEC, §7.102(f), the SBOE approved the amendment for adoption by a vote of two-thirds of its members to specify an effective date earlier than the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The earlier effective date would update the requirements for the submission of innovative course applications for the 2019-2020 school year. The effective date is 20 days after filing as adopted with the Texas Register.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND RESPONSES: The public comment period on the proposal began October 4, 2019, and ended November 8, 2019. The SBOE also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at its November 2019 meeting in accordance with the SBOE board operating policies and procedures. No public comments were received on the proposal.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under Texas Education Code, §28.002(f), which authorizes local school districts to offer courses in addition to those in the required curriculum for local credit and requires the State Board of Education to be flexible in approving a course for credit for high school graduation.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements Texas Education Code, §28.002(f).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 5, 2019.

TRD-201904566

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: December 25, 2019

Proposal publication date: October 4, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497


19 TAC §74.28

The State Board of Education (SBOE) adopts an amendment to §74.28, concerning students with dyslexia and related disorders. The amendment is adopted with changes to the proposed text as published in the August 2, 2019 issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 3999) and will be republished. The adopted amendment requires each school district and open-enrollment charter school to report to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) the results of the required screening for dyslexia and related disorders for students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 in accordance with Texas Education Code (TEC), §38.003(a).

REASONED JUSTIFICATION: Section 74.28 provides guidance to school districts and open-enrollment charter schools for identifying students with dyslexia or related disorders and providing appropriate services to those students.

The 85th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, passed House Bill (HB) 1886 amending TEC, §38.003, to specify that a student enrolled in public school must be screened or tested, as appropriate, for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times in accordance with a program approved by the SBOE. The legislation required that the program include screening at the end of the school year for all students in Kindergarten and Grade 1. An amendment to 19 TAC §74.28 to align the rule with HB 1886 was approved for second reading and final adoption at the June 2018 SBOE meeting with an effective date of August 27, 2018.

TEC, §38.003(c), requires the SBOE to adopt any rules and standards necessary to administer requirements for screening and services for dyslexia and related disorders under TEC, §38.003. The adopted amendment to §74.28 requires school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to report to the TEA through the Texas Student Data System Public Education Information Management System (TSDS PEIMS) the results of screening for dyslexia and related disorders required at the end of the school year for each student in Kindergarten and each student in Grade 1 in accordance with TEC, §38.003(a).

The following changes were made to §74.28 since published as proposed.

The SBOE amended subsection (n) to add the following sentence, "School districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be subject to auditing and monitoring for compliance with state dyslexia laws in accordance with administrative rules adopted by the commissioner of education as required by TEC, §38.003(c-1)."

The SBOE approved the proposed amendment for first reading and filing authorization at its June 14, 2019 meeting and for second reading and final adoption at its September 13, 2019 meeting.

In accordance with TEC, §7.102(f), the SBOE approved the amendment for adoption by a vote of two-thirds of its members to specify an effective date earlier than the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The earlier effective date will allow TEA to begin collecting dyslexia screening data in the TSDS PEIMS beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. The effective date is 20 days after filing as adopted with the Texas Register.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND RESPONSES. The public comment period on the proposal began August 2, 2019, and ended September 6, 2019. The SBOE also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at its September 2019 meeting in accordance with the SBOE board operating policies and procedures. Following is a summary of the public comments received and the corresponding responses.

Comment. A representative from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) requested the inclusion of the Talking Books Program in the next revision of the Dyslexia Handbook.

Response. This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rulemaking.

Comment. A representative from TSLAC stated that Senate Bill (SB) 2075, 86th Texas Legislature, 2019, added requirements for TEA to monitor compliance with the provisions of the bill. The commenter stated that while the proposed revisions relate to the reporting of dyslexia screening, compliance with requirements of SB 2075 are not addressed. The commenter suggested that the proposed changes need some revision to address required components of SB 2075.

Response. The SBOE disagrees and has determined that SB 2075 requires the TEA, rather than the SBOE, to by rule establish procedures regarding auditing and monitoring of school districts.

Comment. A representative from TSLAC stated that SB 2075 requires that school districts notify the parent or guardian of each student determined to have or be at risk for dyslexia or other reading difficulties of the program maintained by TSLAC to provide students with reading disabilities the ability to borrow audiobooks free of charge. The commenter recommended that if the proposed revisions are intended to address the new requirements of SB 2075, they should specify TSLAC's Talking Books Program as a resource.

Response. The SBOE disagrees and has determined that SB 2075 requires the commissioner of education, rather than the SBOE, to establish a parental notification program regarding the availability of TSLAC's book program.

Comment. A teacher stated that the proposed reporting requirement would require more paperwork for teachers in addition to their other duties.

Response. The SBOE disagrees and has determined that the reporting requirement would not place an undue burden on teachers.

Comment. A teacher expressed disagreement with the proposed reporting requirement and suggested that a computer program that assesses and monitors students would be better because the data would be available at all times and the teacher could still monitor daily work in the classroom.

Response. The SBOE disagrees and has determined that a computer monitoring program would not meet the statutory requirement in TEC, §38.003(a), to screen or assess all students in Kindergarten and Grade 1 for dyslexia.

Comment. An administrator stated that districts might gather both objective and subjective data from a variety of sources for the required dyslexia screening for Kindergarten and Grade 1 students. The commenter asked that the SBOE be specific and considerate about what districts must report and how it must be reported.

Response. This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rulemaking.

Comment. An administrator expressed concern that the proposed reporting requirement would place an undue burden on districts to create systems to upload the data collected from different sources, which would take time and money away from other district efforts.

Response. The SBOE disagrees and has determined that the dyslexia reporting requirement would not place an undue burden on school districts and charter schools.

Comment. A parent recommended screening for dyslexia in the middle of the school year because waiting until the end does not help close gaps and denies students services they need to be successful.

Response. This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rulemaking.

Comment. A teacher questioned whether it would be better to screen first graders at the beginning or middle of the school year instead of the end. The commenter stated that with early screenings students will get more help during the school year instead of struggling all year until they are identified.

Response. This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rulemaking.

Comment. Decoding Dyslexia and Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) recommended adding language to the proposed revisions regarding auditing and monitoring of compliance with state dyslexia law as required by SB 2075.

Response. The SBOE agrees and took action to amend §74.28(n) to add the following: "School districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be subject to auditing and monitoring for compliance with state dyslexia laws in accordance with administrative rules adopted by the commissioner of education as required by TEC, §38.003(c-1)."

Comment. DRTx stated that the results of the screenings should be used not only to identify students but also to ensure that students receive the services they need.

Response. This comment is outside the scope of the proposed rulemaking.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under Texas Education Code (TEC), §7.102(c)(28), which requires the State Board of Education (SBOE) to approve a program for testing students for dyslexia and related disorders; TEC, §38.003(a), which requires that students enrolling in public schools be screened or tested, as appropriate, for dyslexia and related disorders at appropriate times in accordance with a program approved by the SBOE. The program must include screening at the end of the school year of each student in Kindergarten and each student in Grade 1; and TEC, §38.003(c), which requires the SBOE to adopt any rules and standards necessary to administer TEC, §38.003, Screening and Treatment for Dyslexia and Related Disorders.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements Texas Education Code, §7.102(c)(28) and §38.003(a) and (c).

§74.28.Students with Dyslexia and Related Disorders.

(a) In order to support and maintain full educational opportunity for students with dyslexia and related disorders and consistent with federal and state law, school districts and open-enrollment charter schools shall provide each student with dyslexia or a related disorder access to each program under which the student qualifies for services.

(b) The board of trustees of a school district or the governing body of an open-enrollment charter school must ensure that procedures for identifying a student with dyslexia or a related disorder and for providing appropriate, evidence-based instructional services to the student are implemented in the district.

(c) A school district's or open-enrollment charter school's procedures must be implemented according to the State Board of Education (SBOE) approved strategies for screening, individualized evaluation, and techniques for treating dyslexia and related disorders. The strategies and techniques are described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders " provided in this subsection. The handbook is a set of guidelines for school districts and open-enrollment charter schools that may be modified by the SBOE only with broad-based dialogue that includes input from educators and professionals in the field of reading and dyslexia and related disorders from across the state.

Figure: 19 TAC §74.28(c) (No change.)

(d) Screening as described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders" and further evaluation should only be conducted by individuals who are trained in valid, evidence-based assessments and who are trained to appropriately evaluate students for dyslexia and related disorders.

(e) A school district or open-enrollment charter school shall purchase a reading program or develop its own evidence-based reading program for students with dyslexia and related disorders that is aligned with the descriptors found in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders." Teachers who screen and treat these students must be trained in instructional strategies that use individualized, intensive, multisensory, phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components described in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders. " The professional development activities specified by each open-enrollment charter school and district and/or campus planning and decision making committee shall include these instructional strategies.

(f) At least five school days before any evaluation or identification procedure is used selectively with an individual student, the school district or open-enrollment charter school must provide written notification to the student's parent or guardian or another person standing in parental relation to the student of the proposed identification or evaluation. The notice must be in English, or to the extent practicable, the individual's native language and must include the following:

(1) a reasonable description of the evaluation procedure to be used with the individual student;

(2) information related to any instructional intervention or strategy used to assist the student prior to evaluation;

(3) an estimated time frame within which the evaluation will be completed; and

(4) specific contact information for the campus point of contact, relevant Parent Training and Information Projects, and any other appropriate parent resources.

(g) Before a full individual and initial evaluation is conducted to determine whether a student has a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the school district or open-enrollment charter school must notify the student's parent or guardian or another person standing in parental relation to the student of its proposal to conduct an evaluation consistent with 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.503, provide all information required under subsection (f) of this section, and provide:

(1) a copy of the procedural safeguards notice required by 34 CFR, §300.504;

(2) an opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation; and

(3) a copy of information required under Texas Education Code (TEC), §26.0081.

(h) Parents/guardians of a student with dyslexia or a related disorder must be informed of all services and options available to the student, including general education interventions under response to intervention and multi-tiered systems of support models as required by TEC, §26.0081(d), and options under federal law, including IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act, §504.

(i) Each school or open-enrollment charter school must provide each identified student access at his or her campus to instructional programs required in subsection (e) of this section and to the services of a teacher trained in dyslexia and related disorders. The school district or open-enrollment charter school may, with the approval of each student's parents or guardians, offer additional services at a centralized location. Such centralized services shall not preclude each student from receiving services at his or her campus.

(j) Because early intervention is critical, a process for early identification, intervention, and support for students at risk for dyslexia and related disorders must be available in each district and open-enrollment charter school as outlined in the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders." School districts and open-enrollment charter schools may not use early intervention strategies, including multi-tiered systems of support, to delay or deny the provision of a full and individual evaluation to a child suspected of having a specific learning disability, including dyslexia or a related disorder.

(k) Each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall report through the Texas Student Data System Public Education Information Management System (TSDS PEIMS) the results of the screening for dyslexia and related disorders required for each student in Kindergarten and each student in Grade 1 in accordance with TEC, §38.003(a).

(l) Each school district and open-enrollment charter school shall provide a parent education program for parents/guardians of students with dyslexia and related disorders. This program must include:

(1) awareness and characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders;

(2) information on testing and diagnosis of dyslexia and related disorders;

(3) information on effective strategies for teaching students with dyslexia and related disorders;

(4) information on qualifications of those delivering services to students with dyslexia and related disorders;

(5) awareness of information on accommodations and modifications, especially those allowed for standardized testing;

(6) information on eligibility, evaluation requests, and services available under IDEA and the Rehabilitation Act, §504, and information on the response to intervention process; and

(7) contact information for the relevant regional and/or school district or open-enrollment charter school specialists.

(m) School districts and open-enrollment charter schools shall provide to parents of children suspected to have dyslexia or a related disorder a copy or a link to the electronic version of the "Dyslexia Handbook: Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders."

(n) School districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be subject to monitoring for compliance with federal law and regulations in connection with this section. School districts and open-enrollment charter schools will be subject to auditing and monitoring for compliance with state dyslexia laws in accordance with administrative rules adopted by the commissioner of education as required by TEC, §38.003(c-1).

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 5, 2019.

TRD-201904567

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: December 25, 2019

Proposal publication date: August 2, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497


CHAPTER 129. STUDENT ATTENDANCE

SUBCHAPTER B. STUDENT ATTENDANCE ACCOUNTING

19 TAC §129.21

The State Board of Education (SBOE) adopts an amendment to §129.21, concerning requirements for student attendance accounting for state funding purposes. The amendment is adopted without changes to the proposed text as published in the October 4, 2019 issue of the Texas Register (44 TexReg 5717) and will not be republished. The adopted amendment updates the rule to allow districts and charter schools flexibility for selecting an official attendance-taking time during the campus's instructional day.

REASONED JUSTIFICATION: Section 129.21 provides the student attendance accounting requirements school districts and open-enrollment charter schools must follow and describes the manner in which student attendance is earned. The rule also provides a list of conditions under which a student who is not actually on campus at the time attendance is taken may be considered in attendance for Foundation School Program funding purposes.

The adopted amendment to 19 TAC §129.21 is as a result of the review of the rules in 19 TAC Chapter 129, Subchapters A and B, adopted by the SBOE in April 2019. The adopted amendment to §129.21 changes the requirement for the official attendance-taking time from the second or fifth instructional hour to any time selected during the campus's instructional day. This change provides more flexibility for campuses.

The SBOE approved the proposed amendment for first reading and filing authorization at its September 13, 2019 meeting and for second reading and final adoption at its November 15, 2019 meeting.

In accordance with TEC, §7.102(f), the SBOE approved the amendment for adoption by a vote of two-thirds of its members to specify an effective date earlier than the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. The earlier effective date is necessary to coincide with the adoption of the 2019-2020 Student Attendance Accounting Handbook. The effective date is 20 days after filing as adopted with the Texas Register.

SUMMARY OF COMMENTS AND RESPONSES: The public comment period on the proposal began October 4, 2019, and ended November 8, 2019. The SBOE also provided an opportunity for registered oral and written comments at its November 2019 meeting in accordance with the SBOE board operating policies and procedures. No public comments were received on the proposal.

STATUTORY AUTHORITY. The amendment is adopted under Texas Education Code, §48.004, which requires the commissioner, in accordance with rules adopted by the State Board of Education, to require reports necessary to implement and administer the Foundation School Program; and TEC, §12.106, which provides for charter schools to receive funding under certain conditions through TEC, Chapter 48.

CROSS REFERENCE TO STATUTE. The amendment implements Texas Education Code, §48.004 and §12.106.

The agency certifies that legal counsel has reviewed the adoption and found it to be a valid exercise of the agency's legal authority.

Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on December 5, 2019.

TRD-201904569

Cristina De La Fuente-Valadez

Director, Rulemaking

Texas Education Agency

Effective date: December 25, 2019

Proposal publication date: October 4, 2019

For further information, please call: (512) 475-1497