Special Education Senate Bill 139

Beginning with the 2017 school year, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) changed the way it reports special education enrollment in school systems. TEA no longer includes a target for a school system’s total numbers of students in special education as part of state monitoring.

For special education representation, TEA only reports on over- representation within certain race, ethnicity and disability categories, as required by federal law. School systems cannot use this reporting data to delay, deny or prevent a referral for an evaluation for special education services.

Special Education/IDEA Eligibility

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, also known as IDEA, is a federal law that gives eligible students with disabilities the right to receive special education services and assistance in school. To be eligible for special education services, a student with a disability must need instruction that is specially designed to meet the student’s unique needs based on that disability.

Who can request an evaluation for special education?

Parents or Guardians

A parent or guardian has the right to request a special education evaluation at any time. It is best to submit this request in writing to your school’s principal or to the school district’s special education director. If your child is pre-school age and not yet enrolled in school, send the letter to the district’s special education director.


If the school knows or has reason to suspect that the student has a disability and a need for special education services, the school must refer the student for a special education evaluation.

More information on evaluation timelines can be found at direc.to/dVYR.

A parent or guardian has the right to request a special education evaluation at any time.

Austin ISD campuses have designated a campus contact person who is able to assist parents/guardians with questions about special education. Each campus has disseminated their campus contact person information using the TEA Updates in Special Education template to parents/families which contains the same information listed above. See TEA Updates in Special Education templates below in English and Spanish.

PDF: Child Find/Senate Bill 139 (in English)

PDF: Child Find/Senate Bill 139 (in Spanish)