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TITLE 19EDUCATION
PART 2TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY
CHAPTER 89ADAPTATIONS FOR SPECIAL POPULATIONS
SUBCHAPTER AACOMMISSIONER'S RULES CONCERNING SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
DIVISION 7DISPUTE RESOLUTION
RULE §89.1195Special Education Complaint Resolution

(a) In accordance with 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), §300.151, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has established a complaint resolution process that provides for the investigation and issuance of findings regarding alleged violations of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

(b) A complaint may be filed with the TEA by any individual or organization and must:

  (1) be in writing;

  (2) include the signature and contact information for the complainant;

  (3) contain a statement that a public education agency has violated Part B of the IDEA; 34 CFR, §300.1 et seq.; or a state special education statute or administrative rule;

  (4) include the facts upon which the complaint is based;

  (5) if alleging violations with respect to a specific student, include:

    (A) the name and address of the residence of the student;

    (B) the name of the school the student is attending;

    (C) in the case of a homeless child or youth (within the meaning of §725(2) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act (42 United States Code, §11434a(2)), available contact information for the student and the name of the school the student is attending;

    (D) a description of the nature of the problem of the student, including facts relating to the problem; and

    (E) a proposed resolution of the problem to the extent known and available to the party at the time the complaint is filed;

  (6) allege a violation that occurred not more than one calendar year prior to the date the complaint is received; and

  (7) be forwarded to the public education agency that is the subject of the complaint at the same time that the complaint is filed with the TEA.

(c) A complaint must be filed with the TEA by electronic mail, mail, hand-delivery, or facsimile. The TEA has developed a form that may be used by persons or organizations filing a complaint. The form is available on request from the TEA and is also available on the TEA website. The complaint timeline will commence the next business day after the day on which the TEA receives the complaint.

(d) If a complaint does not meet the requirements outlined in subsection (b) of this section, the TEA must notify the complainant of the deficiencies in the complaint.

(e) Upon receipt of a complaint that meets the requirements of this section, the TEA must initiate an investigation to determine whether the public education agency is in compliance with applicable law and regulations in accordance with the following procedures.

  (1) The TEA must send written notification to the parties acknowledging receipt of a complaint.

    (A) The notification must include:

      (i) the alleged violations that will be investigated;

      (ii) alternative procedures available to address allegations in the complaint that are outside of the scope of Part B of the IDEA; 34 CFR, §300.1, et seq.; or a state special education statute or administrative rule;

      (iii) a statement that the public education agency may, at its discretion, investigate the alleged violations and propose a resolution of the complaint;

      (iv) a statement that the parties have the opportunity to resolve the complaint through mediation in accordance with the procedures in §89.1193 of this title (relating to Special Education Mediation);

      (v) a timeline for the public education agency to submit:

        (I) documentation demonstrating that the complaint has been resolved; or

        (II) a written response to the complaint and all documentation and information requested by the TEA;

      (vi) a statement that the complainant may submit additional information about the allegations in the complaint, either orally or in writing within a timeline specified by the TEA, and may provide a copy of any additional information to the public education agency to assist the parties in resolving the dispute at the local level; and

      (vii) a statement that the TEA may grant extensions of the timeline for a party to submit information under clause (v) or (vi) of this subparagraph at the request of either party.

    (B) The public education agency must provide the TEA with a written response to the complaint and all documentation and information requested by the TEA. The public education agency must forward its response to the parent who filed the complaint at the same time that the response is provided to the TEA. The public education agency may also provide the parent with a copy of the documentation and information requested by the TEA. If the complaint was filed by an individual other than the student's parent, the public education agency must forward a copy of the response to that individual only if written parental consent has been provided to the public education agency.

  (2) If the complaint is also the subject of a due process hearing or if it contains multiple issues of which one or more are part of that due process hearing, the TEA must:

    (A) set aside any part of the complaint that is being addressed in the due process hearing until the conclusion of the hearing; and

    (B) resolve any issue in the complaint that is not a part of the due process hearing.

  (3) If an issue raised in the complaint has previously been decided in a due process hearing involving the same parties, the TEA must inform the complainant that the due process hearing decision is binding.

  (4) The TEA has 60 calendar days after a valid written complaint is received to carry out the investigation and to resolve the complaint. The TEA may extend the time limit beyond 60 calendar days if exceptional circumstances, as determined by the TEA, exist with respect to a particular complaint. The parties will be notified in writing by the TEA of the exceptional circumstances, if applicable, and the extended time limit. The time limit may also be extended if the parties agree to extend it in order to engage in mediation pursuant to §89.1193 of this title or other alternative means of dispute resolution. In accordance with the Texas Education Code, §29.010(e), the TEA must expedite a complaint alleging that a public education agency has refused to enroll a student eligible for special education and related services or that otherwise indicates a need for expedited resolution, as determined by the TEA.

  (5) During the course of the investigation, the TEA must:

    (A) conduct an investigation of the complaint that must include a complete review of all relevant documentation and that may include interviews with appropriate individuals and an independent on-site investigation, if necessary;

    (B) consider all facts and issues presented and the applicable requirements specified in law, regulations, or standards;

    (C) make a determination of compliance or noncompliance on each issue in the complaint based upon the facts and applicable law, regulations, or standards and issue a written report of findings of fact and conclusions, including reasons for the decision, and any corrective actions that are required, including the time period within which each action must be taken;

    (D) review any evidence that the public education agency has corrected noncompliance on its own initiative;

    (E) ensure that the TEA's final decision is effectively implemented, if needed, through technical assistance activities, negotiations, and corrective actions to achieve compliance; and

    (F) in the case of a complaint filed by an individual other than the student's parent, provide a copy of the written report only if written parental consent has been provided to the TEA.

  (6) In resolving a complaint in which a failure to provide appropriate services is found, the TEA must address:

    (A) the failure to provide appropriate services, including corrective action appropriate to address the needs of the student, including compensatory services, monetary reimbursement, or other corrective action appropriate to the needs of the student; and

    (B) appropriate future provision of services for all students with disabilities.

  (7) In accordance with 34 CFR, §300.600(e), the public education agency must complete all required corrective actions as soon as possible, and in no case later than one year after the TEA's identification of the noncompliance. A public education agency's failure to correct the identified noncompliance within the one-year timeline will result in an additional finding of noncompliance under 34 CFR, §300.600(e), and may result in sanctions against the public education agency in accordance with §89.1076 of this title (relating to Interventions and Sanctions).

(f) If a party to a complaint believes that the TEA's written report includes an error that is material to the determination in the report, the party may submit a signed, written request for reconsideration to the TEA by electronic mail, mail, hand-delivery, or facsimile within 15 calendar days of the date of the report. The party's reconsideration request must identify the asserted error and include any documentation to support the claim. The party filing a reconsideration request must forward a copy of the request to the other party at the same time that the request is filed with the TEA. The other party may respond to the reconsideration request within five calendar days of the date on which the TEA received the request. The TEA will consider the reconsideration request and provide a written response to the parties within 45 calendar days of receipt of the request. The filing of a reconsideration request must not delay a public education agency's implementation of any corrective actions required by the TEA.

(g) In accordance with 34 CFR, §300.151, the TEA's complaint resolution procedures must be widely disseminated to parents and other interested individuals, including parent training and information centers, protection and advocacy agencies, independent living centers, and other appropriate entities.


Source Note: The provisions of this §89.1195 adopted to be effective December 31, 2013, 38 TexReg 9552; amended to be effective January 1, 2015, 39 TexReg 10446; amended to be effective March 22, 2017, 42 TexReg 1247; amended to be effective March 14, 2021, 46 TexReg 1466

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