HB 548

Status: Sent to governor
Author: Rep. Terry Canales
Sponsor: Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr.
Summary: Reinstates the requirement that TEA gather and report grade-level data on truancy.

Includes unrelated provisions regarding language acquisition for students age 8 or younger who are deaf or hard of hearing. The education commissioner and commissioner of Health and Human Services must jointly insure that each such child is regularly assessed using a valid and reliable tool or assessment. Requires a report each year on language acquisition of these children, which must include existing data reported in compliance with federal law on children with disabilities and information relating to language acquisition of children who are deaf or hard of hearing and also have other disabilities.

The report must also state for each child the instructional arrangement used for the child, including time spent in a mainstream arrangement, the specific language acquisition services provided to the child including time spent providing the services, and a description of any hearing amplification used, tools or assessments and their results, the preferred unique communication mode used by the child at home, and demographic information on the child. The report must compare progress in English literacy to that of children of the same age who are not deaf or hard of hearing, by appropriate age range. It must be redacted as needed to comply with privacy laws. 

Requires the commissioner of education, commissioner of HHSC, and the Educational Resource Center on Deafness at the Texas School for the Deaf to enter into an agreement regarding the identification of experts in deaf education and the determining of tools and assessments that are valid and reliable for this population.  

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