From time to time, disputes may arise between the parent(s) and the school district relating to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement or the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), for a student with a disability. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) encourages and supports the resolution of any dispute at the lowest level possible and in a prompt, efficient, and effective manner. The possible options for resolving disputes include, but are not limited to:
- meetings of the student's admission, review, and dismissal committee;
- meetings or conferences with the student's teachers;
- meetings or conferences, subject to local school district policies, with campus administrator(s), the special education director of the district (or the shared services arrangement to which the district may be a party), the superintendent of the district, or the board of trustees of the district;
- requesting an independent IEP facilitator from TEA to facilitate an ARD committee meeting with parties who are in dispute. TEA sets conditions that must be met which are found in the Notice of Procedural Safeguards;
- requesting mediation through the TEA in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and 34 CFR 300.506(b);
- filing a complaint with the TEA in accordance with 34 CFR 300.153(b); or
- requesting a due process hearing through the TEA in accordance with IDEA and 34 CFR 300.507.
- upon the filing of a request for a due process hearing, the parent(s) and the school district shall also be provided with an opportunity to resolve the dispute through the mediation process established by 34 CFR 300.510(a).
What We Do
Local resolution is a voluntary process that should be the first option, giving parents and the district the chance to resolve any concerns.
- As a first step, the parent(s) should contact their child's school and speak to the principal or special education team lead or department chairperson regarding a concern.
- If contacting the campus personnel is not providing a solution to the problem, the parent(s) should contact the Special Education office and discuss the concern that is occurring on campus and the individual will direct them to the appropriate staff member to discuss their concern. The special education office may be reached at (281) 396-2630.
- If the special education contact that is provided to you is not able to assist with a solution, the parent(s) should contact the Special Education office to speak with the Special Education Director of Programming at (281) 396-2077 or the Special Education Director of Compliance at (281) 396-2647.
- If all efforts to reach a solution with the district are unsuccessful, the parent(s) or other interested party can file a complaint with the Texas Education Agency.
The parent(s) may also file a due process with TEA to resolve the issue(s) before a special education hearing officer
- If the parties resolve any issues, the parents should contact TEA either verbally or in writing to request that the complaint/due process be withdrawn or that certain issues be dismissed.
- If there are any remaining issues that were not resolved, TEA will evaluate whether it must investigate those issues.
Texas Project FIRST (Families Information Resources Support and Training) is a project of the Texas Education Agency and is committed to providing accurate and consistent information to parents & families of students with disabilities.
The Partners Resource Network (PRN)is a non-profit agency that operates the statewide network of federally funded Parent Training and Information Centers (PTI's) in Texas. The mission of PRN is to empower parents of children and youth with disabilities in their roles as parents, decision makers, and advocates for their children and to promote partnerships among parents and professionals.
TEA Toll Free Parent Information Line: 1-800-252-9668. This toll free message line is reserved for parents and other family members who have questions about student rights and regulatory requirements as they relate to special education complaint investigations, mediations, and due process hearings. Calls are returned by trained professionals during normal business hours. For Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: TTY Number: (512) 475-3540 Relay Texas 7-1-1. Division of Federal and State Education Policy 1701 North Congress Avenue | Austin, Texas 78701-1494 Telephone: (512) 463-9414 | Fax: (512) 463-9560 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The A Guide to the ARD Process Booklet (English, Spanish) is produced to implement Texas Education Code (TEC) Section 26.0081 requiring the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to create a comprehensive, easily understood document which explains the individualized education program (IEP) process for a student in a special education program. Additionally, the ARD Guide incorporates a parent's rights and responsibilities concerning the ARD/IEP process. The ARD/IEP Guide is intended to be a companion document to, not a replacement for, the Procedural Safeguards, which identifies parents' rights and responsibilities in federal law. The purpose of the ARD/IEP Guide is to encourage a common understanding for parents, school personnel, and communities of the IEP process for a student with disabilities.
Parent's Guide to the ARD Process
"This guide was developed by the Statewide Leadership for the Legal Framework Project Team and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in response to the requirement in Texas Education Code (TEC) § 26.0081. The guide is designed to give you, as the parent of a child who is or may be eligible for special education services, a better understanding of the special education process and of your procedural rights and responsibilities so that you will be able to fully participate in the decision-making process regarding your child’s education." -TEA
- Parent's Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process
- Parent's Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process (Spanish)
Parent Resources and Information
Education Service Center Region 20 Parent Perusals
The Education Service Center, Region 20 (ESC-20) is committed to being the definitive choice for educational services, products, information and solutions for parents, caregivers, and families. Join the Listserv Parent Network if you would like to receive email updates regarding the ESC-20 Parent Network and their monthly Parent Perusals Newsletter. View the current newsletter here.
iAdvocate is an informational and advocacy tool for parents of children with disabilities. Its goal is to share and develop strategies with parents for working collaboratively with a school team to improve their child’s education through an inclusive classroom environment. Included in the app is a list of responses to possible situations that parents may find themselves in when faced with educational personnel; a list of resources to check out, including a glossary, books, movies, and websites; and strategies to educate parents on their educational rights and what they can do to advocate for their child.
Navigate Life Texas
This website is especially for families and parents of children with disabilities or special health-care needs and is designed to offer support, inspiration, resources, and links to services available.
Parent Companion: First Five Years A website connecting Texas parents of children with disabilities to (a)Information; (b) Inspiration; and (c) Resources
Parent Coordination Network
A Resource for Parents of Children Receiving Special Education Services
Partners Resource Network… Empowering Parents through Education
Partners Resource Network offers individual assistance over the phone and in-person to families who have questions about their child's needs, workshops for parents and professionals, and resources such as printed publications and online materials are available on a variety of relevant topics.
Texas Project First
Created by Parents, for Parents . . . This website is a project of the Texas Education Agency and is committed to providing accurate and consistent information to parents & families of students with disabilities.
Understood.org’s goal is to help the millions of parents whose children, ages 3–20, are struggling with learning and attention issues. We want to empower them to understand their children’s issues and relate to their experiences. With this knowledge, parents can make effective choices that propel their children from simply coping to truly thriving.