Our recent Back to School Newsletter provides highlights of a few significant special education related bills that passed this year. Here are a few more details on those laws plus information on a new resource we have explaining many other new laws.
New laws that impact our kids
Many education-related bills that impact students with disabilities passed in this year’s state legislative session. Our new resource, Overview of Texas Special Education Bills Passed in 2023, lists several of these new laws. Here are a few highlights from that resource:
- House Bill 3928 improves special education services for students with Dyslexia and related disorders. Some of the bill’s provisions include clarification on how students with Dyslexia qualify for special education services, a requirement to update the state’s Dyslexia Handbook, and that providers of Dyslexia interventions must be appropriately trained. These are just a few of the many requirements in this new law.
- Senate Bill 133 limits law enforcement and school security personnel in the use of physical force and restraint techniques on elementary students. We started the session with a press conference at the Capitol calling on legislators to stop the violence experienced by many Texas students when being restrained. This bill is a start. It applies to students in 5th grade or below and prohibits use of a Taser, chemical irritant spray, handcuffs, and physical restraint.
- A major provision of recently passed House Bill 473 adds to legislation passed in 2019 that created school threat assessment teams. Now those teams must involve the parents of the student being assessed.
- House Bill 3 addresses physical security and safety of public schools and includes several requirements such as new guidance on emergency plans for students with disabilities; district employees being trained in mental health first aid; and TEA monitoring districts on school safety and establishing an Office of School Safety and Security. Read our resource to learn about other provisions in this new law.
These laws become effective for the 2023-2024 school year. For more on these and other bills that passed, see our new resource, Overview of Special Ed Laws Passed in 2023.
Resources for a successful school year
Don’t forget that we have several education resources to help you know your rights so you can advocate for what your student needs this year.
- IDEA Manual: A Comprehensive Guide on Special Education in Texas
- Requesting an Initial Evaluation
- How to File a TEA Complaint
- Request a Camera in Your Child’s Classroom
- Dealing with Incident Reports and Requesting Video Recordings
- Interactive Discipline Guide
For news and updates throughout the year, join our Facebook group, Keeping Tabs on TEA and State Related Special Ed Issues, and subscribe to our new Special Education News & Resources email list.