TEA Guidance in Regards to Determining STAAR A Eligibility

News from TEA in regards to STAAR A accountability, April 8, 2015

Along with the grades 3–8 math assessments, results from STAAR Accommodated (STAAR A) and STAAR Alternate 2 (a redesign of the original STAAR Alternate) will also be excluded from the 2015 state accountability system. The U.S. Department of Education no longer allows Texas to use modified assessments (such as the STAAR Modified), which had been used for students receiving special education services that met certain participation criteria. Those students were administered the STAAR Accommodated this year. In addition, House Bill 5, passed by the Texas Legislature in 2013, required the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to redevelop the STAAR Alternative (STAAR Alt) test which is designed for the state’s most cognitively disabled students. That test was administered for the first time this school year. While results from the STAAR Accommodated and STAAR Alternate 2 will be excluded from the state accountability system, results will be reported to school districts, charters and parents.

Follow-up guidance from TEA Student Assessment Division, April 13, 2015

Determination of Eligibility for STAAR A and Spring 2015 Testing

It is important that local school districts ensure that appropriate assessments are selected and administered to students with disabilities, independent of state accountability considerations.  For students who are served by special education or who participate in a 504 program because of dyslexia, it is the responsibility of Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) and 504 committees to make decisions about which state assessment—STAAR or STAAR A—is the appropriate test to administer.

TEA has provided training and explicit guidance to help ARD and 504 committees make decisions that are in the best interest of students with disabilities. At this point in the school year, the decision to administer STAAR or STAAR A should already have been made and documented for each individual student based on the state’s eligibility requirements and the types of accommodations he or she is successfully using in the classroom to access instruction.

In the absence of new information related to student eligibility and accommodations previously not considered, ARD and 504 committees should not reconsider those testing decisions at this time (OR before spring 2015 testing occurs).

If you have questions regarding STAAR A eligibility, please contact the TEA Student Assessment Division at (512) 463-9536 or student.assessment@tea.texas.gov.

For additional support, contact JC Sanders at (512)919-5420 or jc.sanders@esc13.txed.net or Ann Jinkins at (512)919-5207 or ann.jinkins@esc13.txed.net.

 

SPP Data Submission for 2014-15

The deadline for submission of data for State Performance Plan (SPP) Indicators 7, 11, 12, 13, and 14 is August 12, 2015. All districts and charter schools must report data for each indicator through TEASE, even if you are reporting that no students in your district meet criteria for that indicator.

TEA has posted the documents and requirements for this year’s data submission. You can also find resources at the Region 13 SPP LiveBinder: www.bit.ly/spptexas

Region 13 will host a webinar to review the requirements for SPP data submission on Wednesday, May 6 from 10:30 – 11:30 am. Registration is available through Go To Webinar.

For more information, contact:

Lori Merrell: SPP 7, 11, 12

lori.merrell@esc13.txed.net

Elizabeth Danner: SPP 13, 14

elizabeth.danner@esc13.txed.net

 

 

IDEA MOE Fiscal Requirements: Excess Cost and MOE

Budget Planning for 2015-16 is here. In preparation, each LEA is required to conduct fiscal compliance calculations prior to applying for and receiving federal funds (SPED Consolidated grant application).

Fiscal Requirement #1: Excess Cost Calculation IDEA-B funds must only be spent on the excess cost of serving students with disabilities (SWD). Excess costs are those costs over and above what the LEA spends, on average, for students enrolled at the elementary or secondary level. To determine excess cost, the LEA must calculate the annual average expenditures for the education of elementary and secondary students separately. The LEA is compliant when it spends at least the minimum annual average amount for its SWD before it uses IDEA-B Funds. (For practical purposes, the LEA must spend the minimum average amount per student by the end of the school year to meet compliance).

TEA  Calculation Tool and Instructions

Excess Cost Activities and Timeline: Perform a preliminary calculation to support completion of the SPED Consolidated grant application CS7000 schedule. Then perform a final calculation after the annual audit is finalized.

Fiscal Requirement #2: Maintenance of Effort (MOE) and Supplement, Not Supplant

To eligible to receive IDEA-B funds, the LEA must meet the fiscal requirement called MOE and supplement, not supplant. For MOE, LEAs that accept IDEA-B funds must expend on students with disabilities (SWD) at least an amount equal to 100% of the state and/or local funds expended on SWD during the previous year. For supplement, not supplant, LEAs assure that state and/or local funds will not be diverted to other purposes simply because federal funds are available.

TEA IDEA MOE Calculation Tool and Instructions

Recommended Activities Prior to eGrant Submission:

1. Complete Calculation Tool for the two most recent completed years (FY 14 comparing 2012-13 and 2013-14).

2. Estimate compliance by completing the Tool for FY 15 comparing 2013-14 and 2014-15.

3. Project compliance by completing the Tool for FY 16 comparing 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Reports Needed to Calculate MOE FY 14, FY 15, and FY 16

CheatSheets: Instructions for Completing MOE FY 14, FY 15, and FY 16

Questions? Contact linda.McDaniel@esc13.txed.net

Revisions to Maximum Entitlements: 2014-15 IDEA-B Formula Grants

TEA received a revised grant award from the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) which requires TEA to recalculate maximum entitlements for the 2014-2015 IDEA-B Formula program.

Not all LEAs will receive an adjusted maximum entitlement.

Method of Revision

TEA staff will adjust the largest class/object code to account for the change in the maximum entitlement amount.

Affected LEAs will receive email notification of the changes TEA staff have made to their program budget. The revised Notice of Grant Award (NOGA) will be attached to that email.

Amendments

TEA will send out an email bulletin alerting LEAs when the revision process is complete.  From now until that alert is distributed, TEA requests that LEAs stop submitting any amendments to claim IDEA-B Formula funding.  Amendments for any other changes to the application may be submitted at any time.

Once TEA sends out its alert that the revision process is complete, affected LEAs may file an amendment to revise their budgets, if necessary. Please refer to the “When to Amend the Application” document on the TEA website to determine if an amendment is necessary.

The deadline to submit “amendments” is 5:00 p.m. Central Time, June 12, 2015.

ESC 13 SPED Funding Contact: Linda McDaniel at linda.mcdaniel@esc13.txed.net
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Training for New EDGAR Regulations Formally called Uniform Guidance

 

On December 26, 2014, new regulations from the Office of Management and Budget (OMG) went into effect for all federal agencies that award grants, including the US Department of Education (USDE). The TEA website has details on the new regulations that are now referred to as the New EDGAR.

The New EDGAR governs all federal grants awarded by USDE to the state on or after December 26, 2014. To prepare for the changes in administering 2015–2016 LEA federal grants, TEA has scheduled the following training sessions.

 

Education Service Center Cluster Site Trainings

In March and April 2015, TEA will hold cluster site face to face trainings at selected education service centers (ESCs) throughout the state. TEA will focus these trainings on grantee implementation of the new guidance requirements, rather than repeating the information shared at the statewide training that occurred on March 2 and 3. Each of the five cluster site trainings will cover the same content. Use the following links to register directly with the following ESCs:

Education Service Center Region 13 Opportunities 

On March 27 the cluster site face to face training at ESC 4 may be viewed at the ESC 13 or you can view it at your LEA through video conference. If you are interested in viewing the video conference via ESC 13, please register in ecampus with the following workshop number

  • In person at ESC Region 13 viewing the video conference – SP1532033
  • Video conference through ESC 13 at your LEA – SP1532034

On April 16 the cluster site face to face training at ESC 20 may be viewed at the ESC 13 or you can view it at your LEA through video conference.  If you are interested in viewing the video conference via ESC 13, please register in ecampus with the following workshop number.

  • In person at ESC 13 viewing the video conference – April 16 SP 1532035
  • Video conference through ESC 13 at your LEA – April 16 SP1532036

If you have questions, please contact Shirley Sanford at Shirley.sanford@esc13.txed.net or 512.919.5375.

Transition Fair at Region 13

Region 13 will be hosting a Transition Fair to connect students and families with information about the services and supports available for adults with disabilities. This event is free and open to the public. Spanish and ASL interpreters will be available. For more information, contact Elizabeth Danner at elizabeth.danner@esc13.txed.net

Date: Saturday, April 18, 2015

Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Location: 5701 Springdale Rd, Austin, TX, 78723

Flyers available in English and Spanish

Consultation for Private Nonprofit School Participation

Reminders about private / home school consultation for LEAs (Does not apply to Charters)

1. According to the Program Guidelines for the Special Education Consolidated Grant Application, LEAs must consult with private schools “before preparing and submitting this application” (page 29 of current grant guidelines).

2. Consultation must be “timely, meaningful, and ongoing” (page 32 of current grant guidelines). The ‘ongoing’ requirement includes how the consultation process will operate during the school year to ensure that parentally-placed children with disabilities identified through Child Find activities can meaningfully participate in special education and related services.

3. LEA must consult with private school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally-placed private school children with disabilities during the design and development of special education (page 32 0f current grant guidelines).

What this may mean for your LEA (Does not apply to Charters)

1. Consider beginning consultation for 2015-16 in late spring or June before developing your 2015-16 Special Education Consolidated Grant Application. This timing ensures stakeholders’ input is considered upfront during the design and development of the grant application.

2. Determine how additional consultation opportunities will be offered during 2015-16 for new eligible students, e.g.,  identified through child find activities or recent withdrawal to homeschool or private school.

3. Review your LEA’s Special Education Operating Guidelines against the Program Guidelines to ensure compliance. The 2015–16 Program Guidelines will be published with the 2015-16 SPED Consolidated Grant Application later on this spring.

Private Nonprofit School Participation Contact: Joy Hunsucker at joy.hunsucker@esc13.txed

Funding / Proportionate Share / eGrants: Linda McDaniel at linda.mcdaniel@eswc13.txed.net

 

Public Review and Comment Period: Proposed Texas Application for IDEA-B Funds

Deadline for Submitting Public Comment: March 31, 2015

For the state of Texas to receive its IDEA Part B grant funds each federal fiscal year, TEA must complete an application packet and submit it to the USDE Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

Prior to submission to OSEP, the State Application (Texas) will be available for public review for 60 days. Within that 60-day time period, there will be a 30-day public comment period.

The TEA will accept written comments pertaining to the Proposed State Application by mail to Policy Team, TEA Division of Federal and State Education Policy, 1701 North Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78701-1494 or by e-mail to sped@tea.texas.gov.

Individuals are encouraged to use the comment form provided on the TEA web page. The deadline for submitting public comment is March 31, 2015.

Questions to any ESC Region 13 Compliance Team member: Ann Jinkins, Lori Merrell, Joy Hunsucker, Elizabeth Danner or Linda McDaniel

New Charter Form for Requesting Federal Funding and Indirect Cost Rate for 2015-16

For the 2015–2016 school year, TEA has developed a single special collections report to replace the SC5010–NCLB Data Request Form for Federal Funding and the SC5011–Special Education Charter Data Request. This data collection requirement applies to open-enrollment charter schools, special local educational agencies (LEAs), and state schools only. It does not apply to independent school districts.

The 2015–2016 Request for Federal Funding & Indirect Cost Rate for Charter Schools (SC5050) is now available in eGrants.

SC5050 Deadline: April 7, 2015

To ensure eligibility and planning amounts are determined for the applicant, the SC5050 must be certified and submitted no later than April 7, 2015.

Applicable Entities

The SC5050 is an eGrants special collections report that applies to the following entities:
* Open-enrollment charter schools
* South Texas ISD
* Windham School District
* Texas Juvenile Justice Department
* Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
* Texas School for the Deaf

TEA will use this submission of the SC5050 to determine eligibility and planning amounts for applicable No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal programs and indirect cost rates, if requested. TEA will open the SC5050 again in August 2015 to collect data for NCLB and special education significant expansion consideration.

For details on the SC5050, refer to the To the Administrator Addressed letter entitled “New Special Data Collection Report Available” posted to the TEA Correspondence webpage.

ESC 13 Special Education Funding Contact: linda.mcdaniel@esc13.txed.net

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