Special Education Timeline Rule Change for Transfer Students
Have you enrolled any new special education transfer students this year? If so, this information is for you! TEA recently implemented a rule change that addresses a district’s obligations when enrolling a student receiving special education services who has transferred to your district from another Texas district, from out of state, or over the summer months. Two main areas are addressed a) the timeline to develop, adopt, and implement a new IEP after transfer, and b) a new definition of the term “verify”. These changes are important and should be used to update your process and procedures. Please read on to see what you need to do to keep your special education transfers in compliance.
What are the changes to the timeline rules?
- If a student transfers to your district from another Texas district during the school year, the new district must either (a) adopt the child’s IEP from the previous district, or (b) develop, adopt, and implement a new IEP within 20 school day of receipt of the IEP. The timeline in this rule has changed from 30 school days to 20 school days. Additionally, this rule also added a new definition of the term “verify” to clarify that this term means the receipt of a copy of the student’s IEP from the previous district. In other words, the timeline of 20 school days will not begin until the new district is in receipt of the student’s IEP that was in effect at the previous district.
- If a student transfers to your district from a district outside of Texas during the school year, and if an evaluation is determined necessary, the evaluation timeline remains the same with completion within 45 school days as determined by the Texas requirement for initial evaluations. Once again, the change in the rule occurs in the requirement to develop, adopt, and implement the IEP after the evaluation with an adjusted timeline to 20 school days.
- If a student, from another Texas district or from a district outside of Texas, enrolls in your district over the summer months, the new district must implement the IEP from the previous district in full on the first day of the school year. This means that if the IEP needs to be revised, the ARD committee must convene during the summer to revise and prepare the implementation of the IEP on the first day. However, the new district must have received verification of the student’s IEP in place at the previous district. If a student’s services cannot be verified over the summer, the timelines described above would apply.
What do I need to do?
Your procedures will need to be updated to include a process for recording incoming transfer students. It will be very important to take note of the date you are in receipt of the student’s IEP since the timeline of 20 school days will begin once the IEP is in hand. Special education staff should schedule the ARD according to this date and the IEP document should be finalize on or before the due date.
Where is this new information located?
You can access the TEA memo from August 3, 2023:
Other useful tips
- Procedures and processes should be updated to track all incoming transfer students. If a student is a special education student, you should request student records including the most recent evaluation and IEP.
- When in need of records, begin with the parent/guardian. In most cases, the parent/guardian will have paperwork or electronic records of the most recent documents. You should also request the records via TREx, if applicable, and/or call and email the previous district with your request.
- Ensure the student is receiving comparable services to those described in the student’s IEP from the previous district. If you are unsure of the services the student was receiving, contact the personnel on the IEP document. Comparable services must be provided until the new district adopts, develops, and implements an IEP.
- Take note of holidays and school closures during your 20-school day timeframe. These days do not count against your timeline!
Need our help?
- Contact Rosa Turnbull, Special Programs Manager – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visit the Charter School Community Roundtable, where you can ask questions, get answers and discuss this topic now.