By Michelle Aguilar
Under federal and Texas state law, students facing
homelessness have a right to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). The
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (federal law) provides assistance to
help students facing homelessness ensure their educational rights and
protections. This program helps states ensure that students of all ages facing
homelessness have equal access to FAPE, including public preschool education,
as provided to other children and youth.
The Texas Education Agency has proposed new rules
effective as of March 1, 2020 concerning transition assistance for highly
mobile students who are facing homelessness or in substitute care. The proposed
new rules would assist with the transition of this group of students from one
school to another and provide local education agencies (LEAs) with guidance on
the requirements of the Texas Education Code (TEC) ), §25.007.
Proposed new 19 TAC Chapter 89, Adaptations for
Special Populations, Subchapter FF, Commissioner’s Rules Concerning Transition
for Highly Mobile Students Who Are Homeless or in Substitute Care, would
address school district and open enrollment charter school responsibilities as
- Proposed new §89.1601 will provide clarity by defining terms
having meanings specific to proposed new Chapter 89, Subchapter FF.
- Proposed new §89.1603 will address
responsibilities for LEAs to request, send, and receive student records and
transcripts to ensure a seamless
enrollment and transition.
- Proposed new §89.1605 will address the creation and examination of
existing local policies to assist LEAs with the award of credits, including
credit by examination, credit recovery plans, course transition plans, and
personal graduation plans.
- Proposed new §89.1609 will address LEA
responsibilities relating to course and educational program placement in order to ensure continuity for students.
- Proposed new §89.1611 will set forth LEA
responsibilities related to access and participation in educational and
extracurricular programs, including tutoring programs, Communities in Schools
or similar programs, and University Interscholastic League (UIL) participation
to mitigate transition barriers to
- Proposed new §89.1613 will address LEA
responsibilities to promote
postsecondary access and to ensure students are progressing toward graduation and are linked with appropriate
higher education financial resources and supports.
- Proposed new §89.1615 will address LEA
responsibilities to provide special
education services and accept referrals made by the previous school
districts or open-enrollment charter schools for special education evaluation
to ensure the appropriate placement of services for students.
- Proposed new §89.1617 will address the
requirement in TEC, §25.007, that LEAs provide notice to the student’s
educational decision maker or caseworker of information that significantly
influences the education of the student.
For more information on programs for students facing
homelessness, please visit the Texas Education for Homeless Children and Youth website or email Michelle
Aguilar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the proposed new 19 TAC Chapter 89 Rules, please visit