Texas Requests Public Comment on SB 1788 Bill

SB 1788 legislation requires the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop a model form for developing an individualized education program (IEP) for a student with a disability by December 1, 2011 — and is looking for public comment on the issue.

The intent of the bill was to have available to school districts a standardized form that is concise and understandable to parents and educators. The school district can can use the form to comply with the requirements for an IEP under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

An internal TEA committee that included staff from TEA’s Office of Legal Services, the Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions, and the Division of Federal and State Education Policy reviewed the federal model form, the IDEA, the Texas Education Code, and the Texas Administrative Code to determine what requirements could be included in the model form. In addition, the committee reviewed several model IEP forms developed by other state educational agencies.

In September last year they presented a draft of the model form to a small group of individuals who were instrumental in the passage of the bill. The committee collected feedback on the draft model form from the meeting participants, and some of this feedback was incorporated into the current draft of the model form.

The draft model form sets out the IEP content that is required for all students with disabilities and also includes several supplemental sections that must be completed if applicable to the specific student.

TEA is now asking for public comment from interested stakeholders throughout the state on the draft model form. The form will be posted on TEA’s website from October 17 through November 7, 2011, and can be accessed here.

The survey  asks for the public to provide a response to the each of the three questions found in the survey regarding:

1.        Understandability

2.        Usability

3.        Completeness

This information is being shared with various stakeholder groups and the special education listserv.