Bill Text: TX SB2 | 2017 | 85th Legislature 1st Special Session | Comm Sub


Bill Title: Relating to the establishment of an education enhancement program for students with certain disabilities.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Republican 7-1)

Status: (Engrossed) 2017-08-09 - Committee report sent to Calendars [SB2 Detail]

Download: Texas-2017-SB2-Comm_Sub.html
 
 
  By: Taylor of Galveston, et al. S.B. No. 2
 
  (VanDeaver)
 
  Substitute the following for S.B. No. 2:  No.
 
 
 
A BILL
 
TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to the establishment of an education enhancement program
  for students with certain disabilities.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Chapter 29, Education Code, is amended by adding
  Subchapter J to read as follows:
  SUBCHAPTER J. EDUCATION ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WITH
  DISABILITIES
         Sec. 29.351.  DEFINITIONS. In this subchapter:
               (1)  "Parent" means a resident of this state who is a
  natural or adoptive parent, managing or possessory conservator,
  legal guardian, custodian, or other person with legal authority to
  act on behalf of a child.
               (2)  "Program" means the education enhancement program
  for students with disabilities established under this subchapter.
               (3)  "Program participant" means a student and a parent
  of a student who has been accepted into the program.
         Sec. 29.352.  ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM. The commissioner
  shall establish and administer an education enhancement program for
  students with disabilities to provide funding for eligible students
  to obtain educational support services and other resources that:
               (1)  supplement the student's public education;
               (2)  promote and improve the student's overall academic
  performance; and
               (3)  exceed the level of services that the student's
  committee has determined to be necessary for the student to receive
  a free appropriate public education.
         Sec. 29.353.  ELIGIBLE STUDENT. (a) A student is eligible
  to participate in the program if:
               (1)  the student is enrolled in a school district and
  was enrolled in that district during the entire preceding school
  year;
               (2)  the student has one or more of the following
  disabilities:
                     (A)  dyslexia;
                     (B)  autism;
                     (C)  speech disability; or
                     (D)  learning disability; and
               (3)  for one or more disabilities listed in Subdivision
  (2):
                     (A)  an individualized education program has been
  developed for the student under Section 29.005; or
                     (B)  the student is covered by Section 504,
  Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794).
         (b)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), a student placed in a
  residential facility primarily for noneducational reasons is not
  eligible to participate in the program.
         Sec. 29.354.  APPLICATION PROCESS. (a) On or before the
  date established by commissioner rule, each school district
  annually shall provide information regarding the program to a
  parent of each student enrolled in the district who may be eligible
  to participate in the program.
         (b)  On or before the date established by commissioner rule,
  a parent of an eligible student may apply on behalf of the student
  to the agency for participation in the program for the school year
  for which the application is made. The school district in which the
  student is enrolled shall assist the parent in making the
  application.
         (c)  In accepting students into the program, the
  commissioner shall:
               (1)  give priority to students who are educationally
  disadvantaged; and
               (2)  to the greatest extent possible, ensure that the
  accepted students reflect the diversity of the state.
         (d)  The commissioner annually shall notify each program
  participant and each school district in which a student
  participating in the program is enrolled that:
               (1)  a program participant must reapply to participate
  in the program for each school year in which the participant wishes
  to participate in the program; and
               (2)  continued acceptance into the program is not
  guaranteed.
         Sec. 29.355.  ALLOCATION OF MONEY; FINANCING. (a) For each
  school year, the commissioner shall allocate money available for
  the program to each school district in which a student
  participating in the program is enrolled in amounts determined by
  the commissioner. The total amount of money used for the program
  for a school year may not exceed $15 million.
         (b)  The commissioner may only use money appropriated to the
  Foundation School Program for purposes of the program.
         Sec. 29.356.  QUALIFIED EXPENSES. (a) Funds received under
  the program may be used only for the following services or goods
  provided to a program participant by an education service provider
  or vendor of educational products approved by the commissioner
  under Section 29.357:
               (1)  costs of transportation for the student to receive
  educational support services;
               (2)  fees for services provided by a private tutor or
  teaching service;
               (3)  fees for educational therapies or support services
  provided by a practitioner or provider;
               (4)  costs of assistive technology; and
               (5)  costs associated with the provision of:
                     (A)  in-home and community-based training;
                     (B)  positive behavioral support strategies;
                     (C)  family training support;
                     (D)  communication interventions; and
                     (E)  social skills, supports, and strategies
  training.
         (b)  The parent of a student participating in the program,
  with the assistance of an employee of the school at which the
  student is enrolled designated for that purpose by the school's
  principal, shall select the services or goods allowed under
  Subsection (a) to be provided to the student under the program and
  the appropriate education service provider or vendor of educational
  products to provide those services or goods.
         (c)  On the parent's selection under Subsection (b), the
  school district in which the parent's student is enrolled shall
  contract with the selected education service provider or vendor of
  educational products to provide the selected services or goods to
  the student.
         (d)  An education service provider or vendor of educational
  products may not solicit or provide incentives to any program
  participant to select the provider or vendor to provide services or
  goods using money distributed under the program.
         Sec. 29.357.  PROVIDER AND VENDOR ACCOUNTABILITY. (a) An
  education service provider or vendor of educational products must
  apply to and be approved by the commissioner to receive money
  distributed under the program.
         (b)  To be eligible for approval under Subsection (a), an
  education service provider or vendor of educational products must:
               (1)  have operated for at least three consecutive
  years, including at least one year in this state;
               (2)  provide to the commissioner:
                     (A)  either:
                           (i)  a current financial audit from a
  certified public accountant; or
                           (ii)  if the provider or vendor is an
  individual, proof of good standing with the applicable state
  licensing authority for the services or goods provided;
                     (B)  documentation indicating that the provider
  or vendor has completed a national criminal history record
  information review within a period established by commissioner
  rule; and
                     (C)  a list of any national or state licenses,
  certifications, or credentials possessed by the provider or vendor;
  and
               (3)  agree not to use the national curriculum standards
  developed by the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
         (c)  In applying for approval under Subsection (a), an
  education service provider or vendor of educational products may
  submit to the commissioner a statement listing the services or
  goods allowed under Section 29.356(a) that the provider or vendor
  provides to a school district under an existing contract.
         (d)  A parent of a student participating in the program, an
  employee of the student's school designated under Section
  29.356(b), or an education service provider or vendor of
  educational products may appeal the commissioner's rejection of an
  application submitted under Subsection (a) in accordance with rules
  established by the commissioner.
         (e)  To maintain approval under this section, an education
  service provider or vendor of educational products must, with
  respect to each student for the benefit of whom the provider or
  vendor contracts with a school district under Section 29.356(c):
               (1)  at the end of each semester, report to the school
  district regarding the services or goods provided under the
  contract to the student, including any diagnostic or other
  evaluative information requested by the district;
               (2)  conduct pre- and post-measurement evaluations of
  the student and provide the results of those evaluations to the
  student's parent and the school district; and
               (3)  submit to the school district accurate and
  complete invoices regarding the services or goods provided to the
  student.
         (f)  At least once each semester, an education service
  provider or vendor of educational products selected to provide
  services or goods to a student participating in the program shall
  meet with the student's parent and the employee of the student's
  school designated under Section 29.356(b) at a time and place
  determined by the school district to discuss the student's progress
  and to evaluate the continued use of the provider or vendor. The
  student's parent, designated employee, or provider or vendor may
  request additional meetings to be held under this subsection.
         (g)  The commissioner annually shall review each approved
  education service provider or vendor of educational products and,
  as appropriate, renew or revoke that approval.
         (h)  On approving an education service provider or vendor of
  educational products under this section, the commissioner shall
  notify the provider or vendor regarding the annual review of
  approval under Subsection (g). The notice must include a statement
  that renewed approval under that subsection is not guaranteed.
         Sec. 29.358.  PROGRAM PARTICIPANT RIGHTS. (a) A student's
  participation in the program does not affect the student's rights
  or a school district's obligations with respect to the student
  under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C.
  Section 1400 et seq.); Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29
  U.S.C. Section 794); or the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  (42 U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq.).
         (b)  An education service provider or vendor of educational
  products must comply with the federal laws listed in Subsection (a)
  in providing services or goods to the student under the program.
         (c)  The provision of services or goods to a student under
  this subchapter does not affect the obligations of any state agency
  with respect to the student.
         Sec. 29.359.  RULES. The commissioner may adopt rules as
  necessary to implement this subchapter.
         Sec. 29.3591.  PROGRAM REVIEW. (a) Not later than December
  31, 2020, the agency shall review the performance of the program and
  submit to the legislature a report on the agency's conclusions.
         (b)  In conducting the review, the agency shall solicit input
  from program participants, participating school districts, and
  education service providers and vendors of educational products
  approved by the commissioner under Section 29.357.
         (c)  This section expires September 1, 2021.
         Sec. 29.3592.  STUDY ON SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES. (a) The
  agency shall conduct a study on the special education services
  provided by school districts to students with disabilities to
  determine whether those services satisfy the requirements under the
  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1400
  et seq.); Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C.
  Section 794); and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42
  U.S.C. Section 12101 et seq.).
         (b)  In conducting the study, the agency shall survey parents
  of students with disabilities enrolled in school districts.
         (c)  Not later than September 1, 2018, the agency shall
  submit to the legislature a report on the results of the study. The
  report must include a list of services that parents feel are needed
  but are not currently being provided and the reasons why the listed
  services are not being provided.
         (d)  This section expires September 1, 2019.
         Sec. 29.360.  EXPIRATION. This subchapter expires August
  31, 2023.
         SECTION 2.  Section 25.087, Education Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (b-7) to read as follows:
         (b-7)  A school district shall excuse a student from
  attending school during lunch, study hall, or an open period to
  attend an appointment or meeting with an education service provider
  or vendor of educational products to receive services or goods
  provided using money distributed under the education enhancement
  program for students with disabilities under Subchapter J, Chapter
  29. This subsection expires August 31, 2023.
         SECTION 3.  Section 25.087(d), Education Code, as amended by
  S.B. 1152, Acts of the 85th Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (d)  A student whose absence is excused under Subsection (b),
  (b-1), (b-2), (b-4), (b-5), (b-7), or (c) may not be penalized for
  that absence and shall be counted as if the student attended school
  for purposes of calculating the average daily attendance of
  students in the school district. A student whose absence is excused
  under Subsection (b), (b-1), (b-2), (b-4), (b-5), (b-7), or (c)
  shall be allowed a reasonable time to make up school work missed on
  those days.  If the student satisfactorily completes the school
  work, the day of absence shall be counted as a day of compulsory
  attendance.
         SECTION 4.  Effective August 31, 2023, Section 25.087(d),
  Education Code, as amended by S.B. 1152, Acts of the 85th
  Legislature, Regular Session, 2017, is amended to read as follows:
         (d)  A student whose absence is excused under Subsection (b),
  (b-1), (b-2), (b-4), (b-5), or (c) may not be penalized for that
  absence and shall be counted as if the student attended school for
  purposes of calculating the average daily attendance of students in
  the school district. A student whose absence is excused under
  Subsection (b), (b-1), (b-2), (b-4), (b-5), or (c) shall be allowed
  a reasonable time to make up school work missed on those days.  If
  the student satisfactorily completes the school work, the day of
  absence shall be counted as a day of compulsory attendance.
         SECTION 5.  Section 25.087, Education Code, as amended by
  Sections 2 and 3 of this Act, and Sections 29.351-29.359, Education
  Code, as added by this Act, apply beginning with the 2018-2019
  school year.
         SECTION 6.  Except as otherwise provided by this Act:
               (1)  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; and
               (2)  if this Act does not receive the vote necessary for
  immediate effect, this Act takes effect on the 91st day after the
  last day of the legislative session.
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