Just like in your school district, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has a department that is dedicated to Special Education. At TEA, this department was called the “Division of IDEA Coordination”
and in the summer of 2012 was consolidated within the Federal and State Education Policy Division. The Federal and State Education Policy Division includes Special Education, Special Education Complaints, and Deaf Services, along with a number of other federal and state programs.
The special education team within the Federal and State Education Policy Division includes people who specialize in:
- The Texas Continuous Improvement Process,
- Data Information,
- Vision Services,
- Internal Support,
- Deaf Services, and
The special education team also works closely with all twenty Education Services Centers on issues related to special education.
Special Education Program Monitoring* and Legal are not housed within the special education division. *FYI – Program Monitoring is the system in which the State looks at how local school districts are administering special education supports and services. The system has been overhauled in recent years and is now a risk-based system that targets districts whose data show that they need a monitoring visit.
To learn more about the Performance Based Monitoring System, visit the TEA website at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=3846&menu_id=2147483683. At this site,
under PBMAS, you can find a manual that describes the monitoring process and link to your school district’s monitoring report.
What Parents Need to Know
When you call the TEA Parent Information Line (PIL) for parents of children with disabilities, your calls go directly to the special educationvoicemail. TEA staff check messages twice daily, and then forward those messages to the appropriate personnel within the division. Calls are returned to parents within 24 hours typically. The program specialist who returns the call will be able to discuss the nature of the call as well as parent rights and regulatory requirements. To access the PIL, call 1-800-252-9668.
Because the Parent Information Line is a communication tool – not the initial process of a complaint – it was moved out of Complaints and into Communications to more effectively serve parents. Many people in Texas still think that calling the PIL is filing a complaint; however, this is not true. The purpose of the PIL is to provide information to parents. Parents who are considering a complaint should review the dispute resolution process at the TEA website and within this site to get process information.
When should a parent call TEA?
First, always try to get answers to your questions locally…your school, your school district, your education service center. Remember that effective communication and building relationships with those working most closely with your student are essential to the success of your child’s educational programming.
If you can’t find your answers locally, TEA can assist you in areas related to, but not limited to:
- The legal aspects of special education and what the law says.
- How to file a complaint, or get more information about mediation or due process.
Also, if you are interested in becoming a part of the Texas Continuous Improvement Process, the stakeholder groups that provide feedback to TEA, you can call TEA and add your name to the list of interested stakeholders.
If you are interested in knowing where the Division of Federal and State programs sits at TEA, check out the Organizational Chart. Click here to view the entire TEA Organizational Chart.
To learn more about special education in Texas, visit their extensive and informative website at: