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TITLE 19EDUCATION
PART 2TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY
CHAPTER 89ADAPTATIONS FOR SPECIAL POPULATIONS
SUBCHAPTER AACOMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
DIVISION 2CLARIFICATION OF PROVISIONS IN FEDERAL REGULATIONS AND STATE LAW
RULE §89.1040Eligibility Criteria

(a) Special education services. To be eligible to receive special education services, a student must be a "child with a disability," as defined in 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.8(a), subject to the provisions of 34 CFR, §300.8(c), the Texas Education Code, §29.003, and this section. The provisions in this section specify criteria to be used in determining whether a student's condition meets one or more of the definitions in federal regulations or in state law.

(b) Eligibility determination. The determination of whether a student is eligible for special education and related services is made by the student's admission, review, and dismissal committee. Any evaluation or re-evaluation of a student must be conducted in accordance with 34 CFR, §§300.301-300.306 and 300.122. The multidisciplinary team that collects or reviews evaluation data in connection with the determination of a student's eligibility must include, but is not limited to, the following:

  (1) a licensed specialist in school psychology (LSSP), an educational diagnostician, or other appropriately certified or licensed practitioner with experience and training in the area of the disability; or

  (2) a licensed or certified professional for a specific eligibility category defined in subsection (c) of this section.

(c) Eligibility definitions.

  (1) Autism. A student with autism is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for autism as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(1). Students with pervasive developmental disorders are included under this category. The team's written report of evaluation must include specific recommendations for behavioral interventions and strategies.

  (2) Deaf-blindness. A student with deaf-blindness is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for deaf-blindness as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(2). In meeting the criteria stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(2), a student with deaf-blindness is one who, based on the evaluations specified in subsection (c)(3) and (12) of this section:

    (A) meets the eligibility criteria for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing specified in subsection (c)(3) of this section and visual impairment specified in subsection (c)(12) of this section;

    (B) meets the eligibility criteria for a student with a visual impairment and has a suspected hearing loss that cannot be demonstrated conclusively, but a speech/language therapist, a certified speech and language therapist, or a licensed speech language pathologist indicates there is no speech at an age when speech would normally be expected;

    (C) has documented hearing and visual losses that, if considered individually, may not meet the requirements for a student who is deaf or hard of hearing or for visual impairment, but the combination of such losses adversely affects the student's educational performance; or

    (D) has a documented medical diagnosis of a progressive medical condition that will result in concomitant hearing and visual losses that, without special education intervention, will adversely affect the student's educational performance.

  (3) Deaf or hard of hearing. A student who is deaf or hard of hearing is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for deafness as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(3), or for students who are deaf or hard of hearing as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(5). The evaluation data reviewed by the multidisciplinary team in connection with the determination of a student's eligibility based on being deaf or hard of hearing must include an otological examination performed by an otolaryngologist or by a licensed medical doctor, with documentation that an otolaryngologist is not reasonably available, and an audiological evaluation performed by a licensed audiologist. The evaluation data must include a description of the implications of the hearing loss for the student's hearing in a variety of circumstances with or without recommended amplification.

  (4) Emotional disturbance. A student with an emotional disturbance is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for emotional disturbance as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(4). The written report of evaluation must include specific recommendations for behavioral supports and interventions.

  (5) Intellectual disability. A student with an intellectual disability is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for an intellectual disability as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(6). In meeting the criteria stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(6), a student with an intellectual disability is one who:

    (A) has been determined to have significantly sub-average intellectual functioning as measured by a standardized, individually administered test of cognitive ability in which the overall test score is at least two standard deviations below the mean, when taking into consideration the standard error of measurement of the test; and

    (B) concurrently exhibits deficits in at least two of the following areas of adaptive behavior: communication, self-care, home living, social/interpersonal skills, use of community resources, self-direction, functional academic skills, work, leisure, health, and safety.

  (6) Multiple disabilities.

    (A) A student with multiple disabilities is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for multiple disabilities as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(7). In meeting the criteria stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(7), a student with multiple disabilities is one who has a combination of disabilities defined in this section and who meets all of the following conditions:

      (i) the student's disability is expected to continue indefinitely; and

      (ii) the disabilities severely impair performance in two or more of the following areas:

        (I) psychomotor skills;

        (II) self-care skills;

        (III) communication;

        (IV) social and emotional development; or

        (V) cognition.

    (B) Students who have more than one of the disabilities defined in this section but who do not meet the criteria in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph must not be classified or reported as having multiple disabilities.

  (7) Orthopedic impairment. A student with an orthopedic impairment is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for orthopedic impairment as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(8). The multidisciplinary team that collects or reviews evaluation data in connection with the determination of a student's eligibility based on an orthopedic impairment must include a licensed physician.

  (8) Other health impairment. A student with other health impairment is one who has been determined to meet the criteria for other health impairment due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette's Disorder as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(9). The multidisciplinary team that collects or reviews evaluation data in connection with the determination of a student's eligibility based on other health impairment must include a licensed physician, a physician assistant, or an advanced practice registered nurse with authority delegated under Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 157.

  (9) Specific learning disability.

    (A) Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; intellectual disability; emotional disturbance; or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

    (B) A student with a specific learning disability is one who:

      (i) has been determined through a variety of assessment tools and strategies to meet the criteria for a specific learning disability as stated in 34 CFR, §300.8(c)(10), in accordance with the provisions in 34 CFR, §§300.307-300.311;

      (ii) when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the student's age or state-approved grade-level standards as indicated by performance on multiple measures such as in-class tests, grade average over time (e.g. six weeks or semester), norm- or criterion-referenced tests, and statewide assessments, does not achieve adequately for the student's age or to meet state-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the following areas:

        (I) oral expression;

        (II) listening comprehension;

        (III) written expression;

        (IV) basic reading skill;

        (V) reading fluency skills;

        (VI) reading comprehension;

        (VII) mathematics calculation; or

        (VIII) mathematics problem solving;

      (iii) meets one of the following criteria:

        (I) does not make sufficient progress to meet age or state-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified in clause (ii)(I)-(VIII) of this subparagraph when using a process based on the student's response to scientific, research-based intervention; or

        (II) exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both relative to age, state-approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development that is determined to be relevant to the identification of a specific learning disability, using appropriate assessments, consistent with 34 CFR, §300.304 and §300.305; and

      (iv) does not meet the findings under clauses (ii) and (iii) of this subparagraph primarily as the result of:

        (I) a visual, hearing, or motor disability;

        (II) an intellectual disability;

        (III) emotional disturbance;

        (IV) cultural factors;

        (V) environmental or economic disadvantage; or

        (VI) limited English proficiency.

    (C) As part of the evaluation described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph and 34 CFR, §§300.307-300.311, and in order to ensure that underachievement by a student suspected of having a specific learning disability is not due to lack of appropriate instruction in reading or mathematics, the following must be considered:

      (i) data that demonstrates the student was provided appropriate instruction in reading (as described in 20 United States Code (USC), §6368(3)), and/or mathematics within general education settings delivered by qualified personnel; and

      (ii) data-based documentation of repeated assessments of achievement at reasonable intervals, reflecting formal evaluation of student progress during instruction, which must be provided to the student's parents. Data-based documentation of repeated assessments may include, but is not limited to, response to intervention progress monitoring results, in-class tests on grade-level curriculum, or other regularly administered assessments. Intervals are considered reasonable if consistent with the assessment requirements of a student's specific instructional program.

    (D) The school district must ensure that the student is observed in the student's learning environment, including the regular classroom setting, to document the student's academic performance and behavior in the areas of difficulty. In determining whether a student has a specific learning disability, the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee must decide to either use information from an observation in routine classroom instruction and monitoring of the student's performance that was conducted before the student was referred for an evaluation or have at least one of the members described in subsection (b) of this section conduct an observation of the student's academic performance in the regular classroom after the student has been referred for an evaluation and the school district has obtained parental consent consistent with 34 CFR, §300.300(a). In the case of a student of less than school age or out of school, a member described in subsection (b) of this section must observe the student in an environment appropriate for a student of that age.

    (E) The determination of whether a student suspected of having a specific learning disability is a student with a disability as defined in 34 CFR, §300.8, must be made by the student's parents and a team of qualified professionals, which must include at least one person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children such as a licensed specialist in school psychology, an educational diagnostician, a speech-language pathologist, or a remedial reading teacher and one of the following:

      (i) the student's regular teacher;

      (ii) if the student does not have a regular teacher, a regular classroom teacher qualified to teach a student of his or her age; or

Cont'd...

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