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Texas Education Agency

January 2022

Special Education Newsletter

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Dyslexia Handbook 2021 Update

On September 3rd, 2021, the State Board of Education (SBOE) gave final approval for updates to the Dyslexia Handbook. Some of the updates to the Dyslexia Handbook may require LEAs to make policy, procedure, and practice changes. The updated Dyslexia Handbook will go into effect on February 10th, 2022. LEAs are encouraged to inform staff and begin the process of preparing for implementation, so they are well positioned to be in compliance once the changes go into effect. Keep checking TEA's Dyslexia and Related Disorders webpage as additional guidance and information will be released as the in-effect date approaches.

Dyslexia Grant Award Program for Local Education Agencies (LEAs)

This grant program aims to increase local capacity to appropriately serve students with dyslexia and related disorders. School districts or open-enrollment charter schools may apply for funding to provide high-quality training to classroom teachers and administrators in meeting the needs of students with dyslexia and related disorders and/or training to intervention staff resulting in appropriate credentialing related to dyslexia. To learn more and apply for grant funding, visit the Dyslexia Grant Award Program webpage. The application is open January 24 - March 11, 2022. If you are interested in being a stakeholder reviewer (e.g., educator, administrator, parent) for these applications, please send your interest to dyslexiagrantprogram@esc4.net.

Innovative Services to Students with Autism Grant Award

The purpose of this grant opportunity is to increase capacity across Texas schools to implement innovative programs that effectively serve students with autism ages 3-21. This grant will be available to Texas school districts and open-enrollment charters, with priority given to collaborations across LEAs. The application window is February 1- March 18, 2022. Visit the Innovative Services for Students with Autism Grant Award Program webpage for additional information and to complete the short Intent to Apply form. 

STAAR Alternate 2 Educator Committees

We are seeking Texas special educators with a commitment to best practices for students to serve on STAAR Alternate 2 item review committees. Educators will review and provide feedback on potential test questions for future STAAR Alternate 2 assessments. Input from Texas educators is a critical component to ensure that items for the STAAR Alternate 2 are valid, reliable, and high-quality measures of the academic achievement of students with significant cognitive disabilities. Instructions for how to sign up to participate can be found HERE. Meetings will begin as early as May 19, 2022 so sign up now!  

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 Upcoming Dates


January 24 - March 11, 2022: Application window for the Dyslexia Grant Award Program


TEA's English Learner Support Division will be presenting targeted professional development webinar series from 9-10 a.m. on the following dates. 

  • January 26, 2022: Supporting Academic Achievement in ESL Programs
  • January 27, 2022: Supporting Academic Achievement in Bilingual Education Programs
  • March 24, 2022: Addressing Factors Impacting High School Completion for Emergent Bilingual Students
  • May 19, 2022: Diversified Support for Newcomers and Long-Term Emergent Bilingual Students


February 1 - March 18, 2022: Application window for the Innovative Services for Students with Autism Grant Award Program


February 23, 2022 @ 10 a.m.: Special Education Self-Assessment Overview webinar


March 10, 2022 from 2-3 p.m.: Join us for the 2022-2023 Operating Procedures and Local Policy Update which will cover the Operating Procedure requirements for LEAs for the 22-23 school year. A link to the presentation will be posted soon HERE

Department News

NEW! Evaluating Dyslexia in the Full and Individual Evaluation Webinar

This webinar, developed by the Child Find, Evaluations, and ARD Supports Network, covers the following topics. 

  • Summarizes the amendments to 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter §89.1040(c)(9) and eligibility criteria for specific learning disability (SLD)
  • Identifies the key update to the Texas Dyslexia Handbook 2021 related to evaluation
  • States the evaluation procedures for dyslexia as a SLD under federal and state law
  • Reviews the required and additional data to gather and interpret for an evaluation for dyslexia
  • Outlines the role of the multidisciplinary team to review data for the determination of dyslexia as SLD. 

View Webinar Now


NEW! Standards-Based IEP Process Training for Evaluation Personnel and Administrators

All 20 Education Service Centers (ESCs) are offering the following two new trainings in addition to the full Standards-Based Individualized Education Program (IEP) Process Training. 

  • Standards-Based IEP Process: Implications for Evaluations Personnel (half day)
  • Standards-Based IEP Process: Implications for Administrators (half day) 

Find the Closest ESC


Write Rigorous, High Quality IEPs for Students with Complex Access Needs

Do you or your colleagues struggle with writing rigorous, high quality IEPs for students with complex access needs? Well the Texas Complex Access Network (TX CAN) has you covered. Their online course, A Step Toward IEP Quality and Rigor, uses guided practice and demonstrations to support you in creating standard-based IEPs for students with significant cognitive disabilities. In addition, the course includes a rubric to help ensure your progress!

Register for Course


House Bill 785 FAQ and Updated Sample Student Restraint Reporting Form Available  

House Bill (HB) 785 was passed during the 87th Regular Texas Legislative Session and was signed by the Governor on June 4, 2021. HB 785 amends statutory requirements related to student behavior plans, Functional Behavioral Assessments, and requirements for the documentation of student restraint and use of time-out. Commonly asked questions about HB 785 are addressed in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document on this topic.   

Review HB 785 FAQ


To address new statutory requirements for student restraint documentation, a revised Sample Written Summary of Restraint form is now available in both English and Spanish. The revised form includes all statutorily required changes and proposed changes to Commissioner Rule regarding procedures for restraint documentation. Please continue to check back in the spring for any updates based on final, Commissioner Rule adoption.  

Get Sample Restraint Form


New! Writing PLAAFPs and Developing Measurable Annual Goals

This recently posted webinar from the Child Find, Evaluations, and ARD Supports Network covers the following content:

  • The federal law and state guidance related to present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP) that identify a student’s strengths, baseline data, and critical areas of need   
  • The purpose and importance of measurable annual goals and a four-step process for developing annual academic goals
  • The purpose and importance of functional goals and a four-step process for developing a functional goal

Watch Webinar Now


Question & Answer Document: Review of Existing Evaluation Data and Reevaluation

The Child Find, Evaluations, and ARD Supports Network has posted a question and answer document that is intended to provide guidance and best practices to LEAs regarding review of existing evaluation data and reevaluation.

Review Q & A


New! ARD Committee Manager Training Course

This professional development session is a self-paced, online course that is intended to provide compliance and best practice guidance for admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee managers in LEAs that choose to use this model. This course is made up of 6 modules that cover such topics as scheduling ARD committee meetings, preparing and finalizing required ARD committee paperwork, facilitating the ARD committee meeting, and supporting families and school personnel with the ARD committee processes. Even if an LEA does not use the ARD Committee Manager model, any professional staff, such as special education teachers, speech language pathologists, educational diagnosticians, and licensed specialists in school psychology who conduct ARD meetings will benefit from this training.

Register for Course Here

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