Regional Education Service Centers
Texas is divided into 20 Regional Education Service Centers (ESCs) ESC Map. Each regional ESC will provide leadership, training, and technical assistance in the area of special education for students with disabilities, in accordance with the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) focus on increasing student achievement.
Each regional ESC will continue to serve as the first point of contact for school districts, parents, and other community stakeholders, and will, in accordance with 34 CFR §300.382(j), provide for the joint training of parents and special education, related services, and general education personnel.
At one time, TEA was a very large agency made up of over 400 employees. Those employees were all housed in one central location in Austin and were responsible for meeting the needs of principals, teachers, parents, students, and school board officials, (not to mention the taxpayer at large) while answering to the Texas Legislature. What a job! To be truthful, it had become a large and cumbersome organization and was not as effective as many knew it could (and should!) be.
Think about it…Texas is a huge state. There are 1229 Independent School Districts (ISDs) and Charter Schools in Texas serving over 4 million students. Each ISD operates under “local control” while still meeting the state and federal rules and regulations of public education.
Take in others factors such as ISD size (1A-5A), location (metropolitan, suburban or rural) cultural and socioeconomic factors, and so on, and you begin to understand the enormity of the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) responsibility to each ISD. We’re an incredibly diverse state!
TEA downsized its system by “decentralizing” or spreading out many of its administrative tasks to the Regional Education Service Centers (ESC).
What Parents Need To Know
Your regional ESC is there to serve you, along with your local school district. Contact them when you need technical assistance, information about special education practices, specific topic information or training opportunities, location or identification of special education resources. Also note that each ESC has a specific area of expertise, called statewide leadership.
For more information about the statewide leadership projects & functions, click on the link below: