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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 §89.1094Students Receiving Special Education and Related Services in an Off-Campus Program

(a) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) School district--The definition of a school district includes independent school districts established under Texas Education Code (TEC), Chapter 11, Subchapters A-F, and open-enrollment charter schools established under TEC, Chapter 12, Subchapter D.

  (2) Off-campus program--An off-campus program includes special education and related services provided during school hours by someone other than school district personnel in a facility other than a school district campus.

  (3) Off-campus program provider--An off-campus program provider is an entity that provides the services identified in subsection (a)(2) of this section and includes:

    (A) a county system operating under application of former law as provided in TEC, §11.301;

    (B) a regional education service center established under TEC, Chapter 8;

    (C) a nonpublic day school; or

    (D) any other public or private entity with which a school district enters into a contract under TEC, §11.157(a), for the provision of special education services in a facility other than a school district campus operated by a school district.

(b) Off-campus program placement. A school district may contract with an off-campus program provider to provide some or all of the special education and related services to a student in accordance with the requirements in this section.

  (1) Before the school district places a student with a disability in, or refers a student to, an off-campus program, the district shall initiate and conduct an onsite review to ensure that the off-campus program is appropriate for meeting the student's educational needs.

  (2) Before the school district places a student with a disability in, or refers a student to, an off-campus program, the district shall initiate and conduct a meeting of the student's admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee to develop an individualized education program (IEP) for the student in accordance with 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §§300.320-300.325, state statutes, and commissioner of education rules in Chapter 89 of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Special Education Services).

  (3) The appropriateness of the off-campus program for each student placed shall be documented in the IEP annually. The student's ARD committee may only recommend an off-campus program placement for a student if the committee determines that the nature and severity of the student's disability and special education needs are such that the student cannot be satisfactorily educated in the school district.

    (A) The student's IEP must list which services the school district is unable to provide and which services the facility will provide.

    (B) At the time the ARD committee determines placement, the ARD committee shall establish, in writing, criteria and estimated timelines for the student's return to the school and document this information in the IEP.

    (C) The school district shall make two on-site visits annually, one announced and one unannounced, to:

      (i) verify that the off-campus program can, and will, provide the services listed in the student's IEP that the off-campus program has agreed to provide to the student;

      (ii) obtain written verification that the facility meets minimum standards for health and safety and holds applicable local and state accreditation and permit requirements; and

      (iii) verify the educational program provided at the off-campus program facility is the least restrictive environment for the student.

  (4) The placement of more than one student in the same off-campus program facility may be considered in the same on-site visit to a facility. However, the IEP of each student must be individually reviewed, and a determination of appropriateness of placement and services must be made for each student.

(c) Notification. Within 30 calendar days from an ARD committee's decision to place or continue the placement of a student in an off-campus 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 the TEA.

  (1) If the off-campus program is on the commissioner's list of approved off-campus programs, the 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, the TEA will notify the school district whether federal or state funds for the off-campus program placement are approved. If the TEA does not approve the use of funds, it will notify the school district of the basis for the non-approval.

  (2) If the off-campus program is not on the commissioner's list of approved off-campus programs, the TEA will begin the approval procedures described in subsection (d) 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 an off-campus program placement is ordered by a special education hearing officer or court of competent jurisdiction, the school district must notify the TEA of the order within 30 calendar days. The off-campus program serving the student is not required to go through the approval procedures described in subsection (d) of this section for the ordered placement. If, however, the school district or other school districts intend to place other students in the off-campus program, the off-campus program will be required to go through the approval procedures to be included on the commissioner's list of approved off-campus programs.

(d) Approval of the off-campus program. Off-campus programs must have their educational programs approved for contracting purposes by the commissioner.

  (1) For a program to be approved, the school district must electronically submit to the TEA notice of, and information regarding, the placement in accordance with submission procedures specified by the TEA. The TEA shall begin approval procedures and conduct an on-site visit to the facility within 30 calendar days after the TEA has been notified by the school district. Initial approval of the off-campus program shall be for one calendar year.

  (2) The off-campus program may be approved only after, at minimum, a programmatic evaluation of personnel qualifications, adequacy of physical plant and equipment, and curriculum content.

  (3) The commissioner shall renew approvals and issue new approvals only for those facilities that have a contract already in place with a school district for the placement of one or more students or that have a pending request from a school district. This approval does not apply to facilities that only provide related services. Nor does it apply to facilities when the school district, within which the facility is located, provides the educational program. Re-approval of the off-campus program may be for one, two, or three years at the TEA's discretion.

(e) Funding procedures and other requirements. The cost of off-campus program placements will be funded according to TEC, §48.102 (Special Education), and §89.1005(e) of this title (relating to Instructional Arrangements and Settings).

  (1) Contracts between school districts and approved off-campus programs must not exceed a school district's fiscal year and shall not begin prior to July 1 of the contracted fiscal year.

  (2) Amendments to a contract must be electronically submitted to the TEA in accordance with submission procedures specified by the TEA no later than 30 calendar days from the change in placement or services within the school district's fiscal year.

  (3) If a student who is placed in an off-campus program by a school district changes his or her residence to another Texas school district during the school year, the school district must notify the TEA within 10 calendar days of the date on which the school district ceased contracting with the off-campus program for the student's placement. The student's new school district must meet the requirements of 34 CFR, §300.323(e), by providing comparable services to those described in the student's IEP from the previous school district until the new school district either adopts the student's IEP from the previous school district or develops, adopts, and implements a new IEP. The new school district must comply with all procedures described in this section for continued or new off-campus program placement.


Source Note: The provisions of this §89.1094 adopted to be effective November 10, 2019, 44 TexReg 6876; amended to be effective March 14, 2021, 46 TexReg 1466

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