83R1831 CAS-F
  By: Naishtat H.B. No. 1138
  relating to the evaluation and instruction of public school
  students with visual impairments.
         SECTION 1.  Sections 30.002(b), (c), and (e), Education
  Code, are amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The agency shall:
               (1)  develop standards and guidelines for all special
  education services for children with visual impairments that it is
  authorized to provide or support under this code;
               (2)  supervise regional education service centers and
  other entities in assisting school districts in serving children
  with visual impairments more effectively;
               (3)  develop and administer special education services
  for students with both serious visual and auditory impairments;
               (4)  evaluate special education services provided for
  children with visual impairments by school districts and approve or
  disapprove state funding of those services; and
               (5)  maintain an effective liaison between special
  education programs provided for children with visual impairments by
  school districts and related initiatives of the Department of
  Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Division [Texas Commission]
  for [the] Blind Services, the [Texas] Department of State [Mental]
  Health Services Mental Health and Substance Abuse Division [and
  Mental Retardation], the Texas School for the Blind and Visually
  Impaired, and other related programs, agencies, or facilities as
         (c)  The comprehensive statewide plan for the education of
  children with visual impairments must:
               (1)  adequately provide for comprehensive diagnosis
  and evaluation of each school-age child with a serious visual
               (2)  include the procedures, format, and content of the
  individualized education program for each child with a visual
               (3)  emphasize providing educational services to
  children with visual impairments in their home communities whenever
               (4)  include methods to ensure that children with
  visual impairments receiving special education services in school
  districts receive, before being placed in a classroom setting or
  within a reasonable time after placement:
                     (A)  evaluation of the impairment; and
                     (B)  instruction in an expanded core curriculum,
  which is required for students with visual impairments to succeed
  in classroom settings and to derive lasting, practical benefits
  from the education provided by school districts, including
  instruction in:
                           (i)  [, the training in] compensatory
  skills, such as braille and concept development, and other skills
  needed to access the rest of the curriculum;
                           (ii)  [communicative skills,] orientation
  and mobility;
                           (iii)  [, and] social interaction
  [adjustment] skills;
                           (iv)  [, and the vocational or] career
                           (v)  assistive technology, including
  optical devices;
                           (vi)  independent living skills;
                           (vii)  recreation and leisure enjoyment;
                           (viii)  self-determination; and
                           (ix)  sensory efficiency [counseling,
  required for those students to succeed in classroom settings and to
  derive lasting, practical benefits from the education in the school
               (5)  provide for flexibility on the part of school
  districts to meet the special needs of children with visual
  impairments through:
                     (A)  specialty staff and resources provided by the
                     (B)  contractual arrangements with other
  qualified public or private agencies;
                     (C)  supportive assistance from regional
  education service centers or adjacent school districts;
                     (D)  short-term or long-term services through the
  Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired or related
  facilities or programs; or
                     (E)  other instructional and service arrangements
  approved by the agency;
               (6)  include a statewide admission, review, and
  dismissal process;
               (7)  provide for effective interaction between the
  visually impaired child's classroom setting and the child's home
  environment, including providing for parental training and
  counseling either by school district staff or by representatives of
  other organizations directly involved in the development and
  implementation of the individualized education program for the
               (8)  require the continuing education and professional
  development of school district staff providing special education
  services to children with visual impairments;
               (9)  provide for adequate monitoring and precise
  evaluation of special education services provided to children with
  visual impairments through school districts; and
               (10)  require that school districts providing special
  education services to children with visual impairments develop
  procedures for assuring that staff assigned to work with the
  children have prompt and effective access directly to resources
  available through:
                     (A)  cooperating agencies in the area;
                     (B)  the Texas School for the Blind and Visually
                     (C)  the Central Media Depository for specialized
  instructional materials and aids made specifically for use by
  students with visual impairments;
                     (D)  sheltered workshops participating in the
  state program of purchases of blind-made goods and services; and
                     (E)  related sources.
         (e)  Each eligible blind or visually impaired student is
  entitled to receive educational programs according to an
  individualized education program that:
               (1)  is developed in accordance with federal and state
  requirements for providing special education services;
               (2)  is developed by a committee composed as required
  by federal law;
               (3)  reflects that the student has been provided a
  detailed explanation of the various service resources available to
  the student in the community and throughout the state;
               (4)  provides a detailed description of the
  arrangements made to provide the student with the evaluation and
  instruction required under Subsection (c)(4) [orientation and
  mobility training, instruction in braille or use of large print,
  other training to compensate for serious visual loss, access to
  special media and special tools, appliances, aids, or devices
  commonly used by individuals with serious visual impairments]; and
               (5)  sets forth the plans and arrangements made for
  contacts with and continuing services to the student beyond regular
  school hours to ensure the student learns the skills and receives
  the instruction [training] required under Subsection (c)(4)(B)
         SECTION 2.  Section 30.002(e), Education Code, as amended by
  this Act, applies beginning with the 2013-2014 school year.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2013.