Chapter 89. Adaptations for Special Populations
Subchapter D. Special Education Services and Settings


Statutory Authority: The provisions of this Subchapter D issued under Texas Education Code, 30.003(d) and (g), 30.004(b), and 42.151(e) and (g), unless otherwise noted.


89.61. Contracting for Residential Educational Placements for Students with Disabilities.

(a)  Residential placement. A school district may contract for residential placement of a student when the student's admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee determines that a residential placement is necessary in order for the student to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

(1)  A school district may contract for a residential placement of a student only with either public or private residential facilities which maintain current and valid licensure by the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, or Department of State Health Services for the particular disabling condition and age of the student. A school district may contract for an out-of-state residential placement in accordance with the provisions of subsection (c)(3) of this section.

(2)  Subject to subsections (b) and (c) of this section, the district may contract with a residential facility to provide some or all of the special education services listed in the contracted student's individualized education program (IEP). If the facility provides any educational services listed in the student's IEP, the facility's education program must be approved by the commissioner of education in accordance with subsection (c) of this section.

(3)  A school district which intends to contract for residential placement of a student with a residential facility under this section shall notify the Texas Education Agency (TEA) of its intent to contract for the residential placement through the residential application process described in subsection (b) of this section.

(4)  The school district has the following responsibilities when making a residential placement.

(A)  Before the school district places a student with a disability in, or refers a student to, a residential facility, the district shall initiate and conduct a meeting of the student's ARD committee to develop an IEP for the student in accordance with 34 Code of Federal Regulations, 300.320-300.325, state statutes, and commissioner of education rules.

(B)  For each student, the services which the school district is unable to provide and which the facility will provide shall be listed in the student's IEP.

(C)  For each student, the ARD committee shall establish, in writing, criteria and estimated timelines for the student's return to the school district.

(D)  The appropriateness of the facility for each student residentially placed shall be documented in the IEP. General screening by a regional education service center is not sufficient to meet the requirements of this subsection.

(E)  The school district shall make an initial and an annual on-site visit to verify that the residential facility can, and will, provide the services listed in the student's IEP which the facility has agreed to provide to the student.

(F)  For each student placed in a residential facility (both initial and continuing placements), the school district shall verify, during the initial residential placement ARD committee meeting and each subsequent annual ARD committee meeting, that:

(i)  the facility meets minimum standards for health and safety;

(ii)  residential placement is needed and is documented in the IEP; and

(iii)  the educational program provided at the residential facility is appropriate and the placement is the least restrictive environment for the student.

(G)  The placement of more than one student, in the same residential facility, may be considered in the same on-site visit to a facility; however, the IEP of each student must be individually reviewed and a determination of appropriateness of placement and service must be made for each student.

(H)  When a student who is residentially placed by a school district changes his residence to another Texas school district, and the student continues in the contracted placement, the school district which negotiated the contract shall be responsible for the residential contract for the remainder of the school year.

(b)  Application approval process. Requests for approval of state and federal funding for residentially placed students shall be negotiated on an individual student basis through a residential application submitted by the school district to the TEA.

(1)  A residential application may be submitted for educational purposes only. The residential application shall not be approved if the application indicates that the:

(A)  placement is due primarily to the student's medical problems;

(B)  placement is due primarily to problems in the student's home;

(C)  district does not have a plan, including timelines and criteria, for the student's return to the local school program;

(D)  district did not attempt to implement lesser restrictive placements prior to residential placement (except in emergency situations as documented by the student's ARD committee);

(E)  placement is not cost effective when compared with other alternative placements; and/or

(F)  residential facility provides unfundable/unapprovable services.

(2)  The residential placement, if approved by the TEA, shall be funded as follows:

(A)  the education cost of residential contracts shall be funded with state funds on the same basis as nonpublic day school contract costs according to Texas Education Code, 42.151;

(B)  related services and residential costs for residential contract students shall be funded from a combination of fund sources. After expending any other available funds, the district must expend its local tax share per average daily attendance and 25% of its Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B, (IDEA-B) formula tentative entitlement (or an equivalent amount of state and/or local funds) for related services and residential costs. If this is not sufficient to cover all costs of the residential placement, the district through the residential application process may receive additional IDEA-B discretionary funds to pay the balance of the residential contract placement(s) costs; and

(C)  funds generated by the formula for residential costs described in subsection (b)(2)(B) of this section shall not exceed the daily rate recommended by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for the specific level of care in which the student is placed.

(c)  Approval of the education program for facilities which provide educational services. Residential facilities which provide educational services must have their educational programs approved for contracting purposes by the commissioner of education.

(1)  If the education program of a residential facility which is not approved by the commissioner of education is being considered for a residential placement by a local school district, the school district should notify the TEA in writing of its intent to place a student at the facility. The TEA shall begin approval procedures and conduct an on-site visit to the facility within 30 calendar days after the TEA has been notified by the local school district. Approval of the education program of a residential facility may be for one, two, or three years.

(2)  The commissioner of education shall renew approvals and issue new approvals only for those facilities which have contract students already placed or which have a pending request for residential placement from a school district. This approval does not apply to residential facilities which only provide related services or residential facilities in which the local accredited school district where the facility is located provides the educational program.

(3)  School districts which contract for out-of-state residential placement shall do so in accordance with the rules for in-state residential placement in this section, except that the facility must be approved by the appropriate agency in the state in which the facility is located, rather than by the commissioner of education in Texas.

Source: The provisions of this 89.61 adopted to be effective September 1, 2000, 25 TexReg 4530; amended to be effective August 24, 2010, 35 TexReg 7212.


89.62. Support of Students Enrolled in the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and Texas School for the Deaf.

(a) For each student enrolled in the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired or Texas School for the Deaf, the school district responsible for providing appropriate special education and related services to the student shall share the cost of the student's education (excluding the summer programs) as provided under the Texas Education Code, 30.003.

(1) The information required in accordance with the Texas Education Code, 30.003(d), must be submitted in a form prescribed by the commissioner of education within 30 calendar days after the student enrolls in the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired or Texas School for the Deaf.

(2) School districts required to remit their shares to the Texas Education Agency in accordance with the Texas Education Code, 30.003(d), shall do so within 60 days of notification by the commissioner of education.

(b) School districts shall provide, annually, in writing to each parent or legal guardian of an eligible student with visual or auditory impairments, the information specified in the Texas Education Code, 30.004(a)(1-3), before considering the student's placement for special education services.

Source: The provisions of this 89.62 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 5690.


89.63. Instructional Arrangements and Settings.

(a)  Each local school district shall be able to provide services with special education personnel to students with disabilities in order to meet the special needs of those students in accordance with 34 Code of Federal Regulations, 300.114-300.118.

(b)  Subject to 89.1075(e) of this title (relating to General Program Requirements and Local District Procedures) for the purpose of determining the student's instructional arrangement/setting, the regular school day is defined as the period of time determined appropriate by the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee.

(c)  Instructional arrangements/settings shall be based on the individual needs and individualized education programs (IEPs) of eligible students receiving special education services and shall include the following.

(1)  Mainstream. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education and related services to a student in the regular classroom in accordance with the student's IEP. Qualified special education personnel must be involved in the implementation of the student's IEP through the provision of direct, indirect and/or support services to the student, and/or the student's regular classroom teacher(s) necessary to enrich the regular classroom and enable student success. The student's IEP must specify the services that will be provided by qualified special education personnel to enable the student to appropriately progress in the general education curriculum and/or appropriately advance in achieving the goals set out in the student's IEP. Examples of services provided in this instructional arrangement include, but are not limited to, direct instruction, helping teacher, team teaching, co-teaching, interpreter, education aides, curricular or instructional modifications/accommodations, special materials/equipment, consultation with the student and his/her regular classroom teacher(s) regarding the student's progress in regular education classes, staff development, and reduction of ratio of students to instructional staff.

(2)  Homebound. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education and related services to students who are served at home or hospital bedside.

(A)  Students served on a homebound or hospital bedside basis are expected to be confined for a minimum of four consecutive weeks as documented by a physician licensed to practice in the United States. Homebound or hospital bedside instruction may, as provided by local district policy, also be provided to chronically ill students who are expected to be confined for any period of time totaling at least four weeks throughout the school year as documented by a physician licensed to practice in the United States. The student's ARD committee shall determine the amount of services to be provided to the student in this instructional arrangement/setting in accordance with federal and state laws, rules, and regulations, including the provisions specified in subsection (b) of this section.

(B)  Home instruction may also be used for services to infants and toddlers (birth through age 2) and young children (ages 3-5) when determined appropriate by the child's individualized family services plan (IFSP) committee or ARD committee. This arrangement/setting also applies to school districts described in Texas Education Code, 29.014.

(3)  Hospital class. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education instruction in a classroom, in a hospital facility, or a residential care and treatment facility not operated by the school district. If the students residing in the facility are provided special education services outside the facility, they are considered to be served in the instructional arrangement in which they are placed and are not to be considered as in a hospital class.

(4)  Speech therapy. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing speech therapy services whether in a regular education classroom or in a setting other than a regular education classroom. When the only special education or related service provided to a student is speech therapy, then this instructional arrangement may not be combined with any other instructional arrangement.

(5)  Resource room/services. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education and related services to a student in a setting other than regular education for less than 50% of the regular school day.

(6)  Self-contained (mild, moderate, or severe) regular campus. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education and related services to a student who is in a self-contained program for 50% or more of the regular school day on a regular school campus.

(7)  Off home campus. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education and related services to the following, including students at South Texas Independent School District and Windham Independent School District:

(A)  a student who is one of a group of students from more than one school district served in a single location when a free appropriate public education is not available in the respective sending district;

(B)  a student whose instruction is provided by school district personnel in a facility (other than a nonpublic day school) not operated by a school district; or

(C)  a student in a self-contained program at a separate campus operated by the school district that provides only special education and related services.

(8)  Nonpublic day school. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education and related services to students through a contractual agreement with a nonpublic school for special education.

(9)  Vocational adjustment class/program. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education and related services to a student who is placed on a job with regularly scheduled direct involvement by special education personnel in the implementation of the student's IEP. This instructional arrangement/setting shall be used in conjunction with the student's individual transition plan and only after the school district's career and technology classes have been considered and determined inappropriate for the student.

(10)  Residential care and treatment facility (not school district resident). This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education instruction and related services to students who reside in care and treatment facilities and whose parents do not reside within the boundaries of the school district providing educational services to the students. In order to be considered in this arrangement, the services must be provided on a school district campus. If the instruction is provided at the facility, rather than on a school district campus, the instructional arrangement is considered to be the hospital class arrangement/setting rather than this instructional arrangement. Students with disabilities who reside in these facilities may be included in the average daily attendance of the district in the same way as all other students receiving special education.

(11)  State supported living center. This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education and related services to a student who resides at a state supported living center when the services are provided at the state supported living center location. If services are provided on a local school district campus, the student is considered to be served in the residential care and treatment facility arrangement/setting.

(d)  The appropriate instructional arrangement for students from birth through the age of two with visual and/or auditory impairments shall be determined in accordance with the IFSP, current attendance guidelines, and the agreement memorandum between the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Services.

(e)  For nonpublic day school placements, the school district or shared service arrangement shall submit information to the TEA indicating the students' identification numbers, initial dates of placement, and the names of the facilities with which the school district or shared service arrangement is contracting. The school district or shared service arrangement shall not count contract students' average daily attendance as eligible. The TEA shall determine the number of contract students reported in full-time equivalents and pay state funds to the district according to the formula prescribed in law.

(f)  Other program options which may be considered for the delivery of special education and related services to a student may include the following:

(1)  contracts with other school districts; and

(2)  other program options as approved by the TEA.

Source: The provisions of this 89.63 adopted to be effective September 1, 1996, 21 TexReg 5690; amended to be effective September 1, 2000, 25 TexReg4531; amended to be effective August 24, 2010, 35 TexReg 7212.


Last updated: August 24, 2010

For additional information, email rules@tea.state.tx.us.