TCTA scored a victory by convincing TEA to include in its finally adopted special education rules a provision that the regular education teacher participating in an ARD committee meeting must be one who will implement a portion of the student’s IEP. TCTA argued that it’s important to specify which of the student’s regular education teachers must be part of the ARD because not all of them may be implementing the student’s IEP. In response, TEA changed the final rules to include the provision requested by TCTA.
TEA initially proposed the rule revisions in response to the TCTA-initiated SB 1259, passed in 2015.
TCTA pursued the legislation last session after TEA deleted key provisions benefiting special education students and their regular education teachers from its rules in January 2015. SB 1259 by Sen. Jose Rodriguez restored those provisions in statute, including requiring that the regular education teacher who participates in an ARD meeting must, to the extent practicable, be a regular education teacher who will implement a portion of a student’s Individualized Education Program, that any other teacher who instructs a special education student can provide input into the development of the IEP, and that any member of the ARD (including the regular education teacher) can write a statement of disagreement if they disagree with the developed IEP.
TEA’s rule proposal included some but not all of the changes made by SB 1259, including the one requiring that the regular education teacher participating in the ARD committee be the one who will be implementing a portion of the student’s IEP.
The proposed rules did not include a provision from SB 1259 requiring that school districts have a process to be used by regular education teachers of special education students to provide input in the development of the student’s IEP. TCTA pointed out that inclusion of this language in the rules is necessary to clarify that even though all regular education teachers of the students aren’t necessarily required to be members of the ARD committee, they are all entitled to give input into the development of the student’s IEP. However, TEA declined to include the provision in its finally adopted rules, asserting that that particular provision was outside the scope of the proposed rulemaking. Nonetheless, this provision remains in law and can still be enforced.