|(a) Residential placement. A school district may contract
for residential placement of a student when the student's admission,
review, and dismissal (ARD) committee determines that a residential
placement is necessary in order for the student to receive a free
appropriate public education (FAPE).
(1) A school district may contract for a residential
placement of a student only with either public or private residential
facilities that maintain current and valid licensure by the Texas
Department of Aging and Disability Services, Texas Department of Family
and Protective Services, or Department of State Health Services for
the particular disabling condition and age of the student. A school
district may contract for an out-of-state residential placement in
accordance with the provisions of subsection (d)(3) of this section.
(2) Subject to subsections (c) and (d) of this section,
the district may contract with a residential facility to provide some
or all of the special education services listed in the contracted
student's individualized education program (IEP). If the facility
provides any educational services listed in the student's IEP, the
facility's education program must be approved by the commissioner
of education in accordance with subsection (d) of this section.
(3) A school district that intends to contract for
residential placement of a student with a residential facility under
this section shall notify the Texas Education Agency (TEA) of its
intent to contract for the residential placement through the residential
application process described in subsection (c) of this section.
(4) The school district has the following responsibilities
when making a residential placement.
(A) Before the school district places a student with
a disability in, or refers a student to, a residential facility, the
district shall initiate and conduct a meeting of the student's ARD
committee to develop an IEP for the student in accordance with 34
Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §§300.320-300.325, state
statutes, and commissioner rules.
(B) For each student, the services that the school
district is unable to provide and that the facility will provide shall
be listed in the student's IEP.
(C) For each student, the ARD committee shall establish,
in writing, criteria and estimated timelines for the student's return
to the school district.
(D) The appropriateness of the facility for each student
residentially placed shall be documented in the IEP. General screening
by a regional education service center is not sufficient to meet the
requirements of this subsection.
(E) The school district shall make one announced initial
visit and two subsequent onsite visits annually, one announced and
one unannounced, to verify that the residential facility can and will
provide the services listed in the student's IEP that the facility
has agreed to provide to the student.
(F) For each student placed in a residential facility
(both initial and continuing placements), the school district shall
verify, during the initial residential placement ARD committee meeting
and each subsequent annual ARD committee meeting, that:
(i) the facility meets minimum standards for health
(ii) residential placement is needed and is documented
in the IEP; and
(iii) the educational program provided at the residential
facility is appropriate and the placement is the least restrictive
environment for the student.
(G) The placement of more than one student in the same
residential facility may be considered in the same onsite visit to
a facility; however, the IEP of each student must be individually
reviewed and a determination of appropriateness of placement and service
must be made for each student.
(H) When a student who is residentially placed by a
school district changes his or her residence to another Texas school
district and the student continues in the contracted placement, the
school district that negotiated the contract shall be responsible
for the residential contract for the remainder of the school year.
(b) Notification. Within 30 calendar days from an ARD
committee's decision to place a student in a residential education
program, a school district must electronically submit to the Texas
Education Agency (TEA) notice of and information regarding the placement
in accordance with submission procedures specified by TEA.
(1) If the residential education program is on the
commissioner's list of approved residential education programs, TEA
will review the student's IEP and placement as required by 34 CFR, §300.120,
and, in the case of a placement in or referral to a private school
or facility, 34 CFR, §300.146. After review, TEA will notify
the school district whether federal or state funds for the residential
education program placement are approved. If TEA does not approve
the use of funds, it will notify the school district of the basis
for the non-approval.
(2) If the residential education program is not on
the commissioner's list of approved residential education programs,
TEA will begin the approval procedures described in subsection (d)(1)
of this section. School districts must ensure there is no delay in
implementing a child's IEP in accordance with 34 CFR, §300.103(c).
(3) If a residential education program placement is
ordered by a special education hearing officer or court of competent
jurisdiction, the school district must notify TEA of the order within
30 calendar days. The residential education program serving the student
is not required to go through the approval procedures described in
subsection (d)(1) of this section for the ordered placement. If, however,
the school district or other school districts intend to place other
students in the residential education program, the residential education
program will be required to go through the approval procedures to
be included on the commissioner's list of approved residential programs.
(c) Application approval process. Requests for approval
of state and federal funding for residentially placed students shall
be negotiated on an individual student basis through a residential
application submitted by the school district to TEA.
(1) A residential application may be submitted for
educational purposes only. The residential application shall not be
approved if the application indicates that the:
(A) placement is due primarily to the student's medical
(B) placement is due primarily to problems in the student's
(C) district does not have a plan, including timelines
and criteria, for the student's return to the local school program;
(D) district did not attempt to implement lesser restrictive
placements prior to residential placement (except in emergency situations
as documented by the student's ARD committee);
(E) placement is not cost effective when compared with
other alternative placements; or
(F) residential facility provides unfundable or unapprovable
(2) The residential placement, if approved by TEA,
shall be funded as follows:
(A) the education cost of residential contracts shall
be funded with state funds on the same basis as nonpublic day school
contract costs according to Texas Education Code, §42.151;
(B) related services and residential costs for residential
contract students shall be funded from a combination of fund sources.
After expending any other available funds, the district must expend
its local tax share per average daily attendance and 25% of its Individuals
with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, (IDEA-B) formula tentative
entitlement (or an equivalent amount of state and/or local funds)
for related services and residential costs. If this is not sufficient
to cover all costs of the residential placement, the district through
the residential application process may receive additional IDEA-B
discretionary funds to pay the balance of the residential contract
placement(s) costs; and
(C) funds generated by the formula for residential
costs described in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph shall not exceed
the daily rate recommended by the Texas Department of Family and Protective
Services for the specific level of care in which the student is placed.
(d) Approval of the education program for facilities
that provide educational services. Residential facilities that provide
educational services must have their educational programs approved
for contracting purposes by the commissioner.
(1) If the education program of a residential facility
that is not approved by the commissioner is being considered for a
residential placement by a local school district, the school district
should notify TEA in writing of its intent to place a student at the
facility. TEA shall begin approval procedures and conduct an onsite
visit to the facility within 30 calendar days after TEA has been notified
by the local school district. Approval of the education program of
a residential facility may be for one, two, or three years.
(2) The commissioner shall renew approvals and issue
new approvals only for those facilities that have contract students
already placed or that have a pending request for residential placement
from a school district. This approval does not apply to residential
facilities that only provide related services or residential facilities
in which the local accredited school district where the facility is
located provides the educational program.
(3) School districts that contract for out-of-state
residential placement shall do so in accordance with the rules for
in-state residential placement in this section, except that the facility
must be approved by the appropriate agency in the state in which the
facility is located rather than by TEA.