We continue our review of new legislation with HB 3012. This one requires that schools keep kids up to speed with their school work even while they are suspended. In Toolbox terminology, this has implications for the use of Tool #7—the FAPE-Free Zone. Under federal law, school administrators can order a short term suspension of a student with a disability with no services, if that’s how the general education students are treated. This authority is capped at ten days, cumulatively. So a CBC (Campus Behavior Coordinator) could order a three-day suspension of a student, and provide no services. Texas does not require services to the general education student who is suspended, so federal law does not require it for the student with a disability.
That’s how it was. HB 3012 changes it. Let’s consider Charlie, who has been suspended for three days, out of school. Charlie receives special education services due to his speech impairment. This is his first suspension of the year, so we are within the FAPE-Free Zone. The same goes for Charlotte, a student with a learning disability, who has been placed in ISS for three days. Both students are in the FAPE-Free Zone, and under federal law, they are not entitled to any educational services. But 3012 now tells us that the district must provide to both students “an alternative means of receiving all course work provided in the classes in the foundation curriculum…that the student misses as a result of the suspension.”
How to do this? The only guidance in the statute is:
The district must provide at least one option for receiving the course work that does not require the use of the Internet.
Beyond that, we have no guidance, nor does the law require the Agency to weigh in. So you are on your own. Huddle up, read the language of the law, and figure out how best to satisfy this new requirement. It will be in effect this school year.
HB 3012 will be found at Texas Education Code 37.005(e).
DAWG BONE: FAPE-FREE ZONE JUST GOT A LITTLE LESS FAPE-FREE.
Tomorrow: Do you have a teacher who sends too many kids to the office?