Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2172
By: Luna, Vilma
Public Education


Currently, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) conducts two types of
monitoring visits. Accreditation monitoring is based on the Academic
Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), which assesses school performance
according to standards set forth under Section 39.051, Education Code
(Academic Excellence Indicators).  Compliance monitoring, conducted at
different campuses on a six-year fixed cycle, is known as District
Effectiveness and Compliance, or DEC, and monitors only special programs.
At present, those programs include special education, gifted and talented,
migrant, and bilingual programs.   

A school district knows in advance of a DEC visit, and is assisted in
preparing for the compliance visit.  A DEC monitoring team consists of some
TEA staff, but primarily of contract employees.  If a DEC team finds a
district out of compliance with relevant state and federal requirements,
TEA will issue a corrective action plan.  However, districts often remain
out of compliance with no consequences, and sanctions against a district
for noncompliance are rare. 

Accreditation monitoring measures campus performance using academic
excellence indicators set forth under Chapter 39, Education Code (Public
School System Accountability).  These indicators include attendance rates,
drop-out rates, and campus performance on the TAAS assessment instrument.
Because most children in special education programs do not take the TAAS
test, assessing special education programs using AEIS does not adequately
measure the performance of a district's special education program

H.B. 2172 amends Chapter 39, Education Code, to require TEA to develop a
monitoring system specifically for special education programs, which must
use information collected from both parents and teachers, and which
includes an expedited system for resolving complaints.  To expand public
knowledge of the effectiveness of special education programs, this bill
also requires that  information acquired during the monitoring process be
included in a school district's annual performance report under Section
39.053, Education Code (Performance Report).  H.B. 2172 also includes a
special education program's effectiveness rating among the indicators used
to rate a school district. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


SECTION 1.  Amends Sections 29.010, Education Code, by amending Subsections
(a) and (b) and adding Subsection (e), as follows:  

(a)  Requires the Texas Education Agency (agency) to adopt and implement a
system for monitoring school district compliance with federal and state
laws regarding special education.  Provides that the monitoring system must
provide for ongoing analysis of district special education data.  Provides
that the monitoring system must provide for analysis of complaints filed
with the agency regarding special education services and for inspections.
Requires that the agency use the information from the monitoring system to
determine a  schedule for, and the extent of, an inspection. 

(b)  Provides that the agency must collect information from both parents
and teachers of students in special education programs. 

(e)  Requires the agency to develop a system for expedited investigation
and resolution of complaints regarding provision of special education or
related services to a qualified student. 

SECTION 2.  Amends Section 39.053, Education Code,  as follows:

(a)  Provides that a district's annual performance report must include the
most recent compliance monitoring report of the special education program,
including progress toward implementing corrective action.  Creates
Subdivisions (1) and (2) from existing text.   

(b)  Created from existing text.  Redesignates Subsections (b)-(f) to
Subsections (c)-(g). 

SECTION 3.  Amends Section 39.072(b), Education Code, to require that the
effectiveness of a special education program, based on the agency's most
recent compliance review, be a main consideration in rating the district.
Makes nonsubstantive changes. 

SECTION 4.  Amends Sections 39.073(a) and (d), Education Code, as follows:

(a)  Includes the effectiveness of a school district's special education
program, based on the agency's most recent performance review, among the
indicators adopted under Sections 39.051(b) (1)-(6), Education Code
(Academic Excellence Indicators), for the district's annual performance

(d)  Includes the effectiveness of a school district's special education
program as a standard for receiving an academically unacceptable rating. 

SECTION 5.  Amends Section 39.182(a), Education Code, to include a list of
each school district that is not in compliance with special education
requirements, including the dates and  manner of noncompliance and actions
taken by the commissioner to ensure compliance, in the agency's
comprehensive report to state officials.  Makes conforming changes. 

SECTION 6. (a)  Provides that Sections 2-4 of this Act apply beginning with
the 1999-2000                                school year.   

(b)  Provides that the report required under Section 39.182(a), Education
Code, must include the information required by Section 39.182(a), as
amended by this Act, beginning with the first report the agency would
regularly make. 

SECTION 7.  Emergency clause.
  Effective date: upon passage.