passed since Texas public schools first closed their doors in response to the pandemic. However, many students still have not received compensatory services from their schools. Under the IDEA, a complaint (or Due Process Hearing Request) must allege a violation that occurred not more than two years before the date the parent or public agency knew or should have known about the alleged action that forms the basis of the due process complaint, or, if the state has an explicit time limitation for filing a due process complaint under this part, in the time allowed by that State law.13 Problematically, Texas has such a limitation: one year from the date the parent or public education agency knew or should have known about the alleged action.14 The narrow window is problematic for most parents as it often takes more than a year for problems to become evident. The Texas Legislature, however, recently introduced a new bill—HB 1252—which would increase the limitations period for filing a complaint and requesting a special education due process hearing, to the maximum timeline under the IDEA.15 We hope this bill is one of many proactive steps taken to address the transformative needs of students with disabilities in Texas. Kevin Piwowarski Shields and Jennifer Lynn Swanson are special education attorneys at Shields Law Firm, LLP. They serve families and children with disabilities in special education law and special needs planning matters throughout Texas.
Endnotes 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400(d). Endrew F. v. Douglas Cnty. Sch. Dist. RE-1, 137 S. Ct. 988, 994 (2017). Id. 34 C.F.R. §§ 300.22, 300.323(a). Id. § 300.321. 20 U.S.C. §§ 1414(d)(4)(A)–(B). TEX. EDUC. AGENCY, COVID-19 AND SPECIAL EDUCATION FAQ (2020), https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default /files/COVID-19%20and%20Special %20Education%20FAQ%283-13-20%29.pdf. 8. See generally U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC., TEXAS PART B 2017 MONITORING VISIT LETTER (2017), https://www2.ed.gov/fund/data/report/idea/partbdmsrpts/ dms-tx-b-2017-enclosure.pdf; Adam Kelsey, Texas Schools Failed to Identify Special Education Students: Department of Education, ABCNEWS (Jan. 11, 2018), https://abcnews.go.com/US/texas-schools-failed-identify-specialeducation-students-department/story?id=52285774 (discussing a report released by the Department of Education that found the TEA failed to comply with federal laws relating to providing services to students with disabilities). 9. Shields Law Firm, LLP (the authors’ firm) conducted “know your rights” webinars for these families. 10. 42 U.S.C. § 1412(a)(3). 11. 34 C.F.R. § 300.324(b). 12. U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC., QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ON PROVIDING SERVICES TO CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES DURING THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 OUTBREAK (2020), https://www2.ed.gov/policy/ speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/qa-covid-19-03-12-2020.pdf; U.S. DEP’T OF EDUC., SUPPLEMENTAL FACT SHEET ADDRESSING THE RISK OF COVID-19 IN PRESCHOOL, ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS WHILE SERVING CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES (2020), https://www2. ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/frontpage/faq/rr/policyguidance/Supple%20 Fact%20Sheet%203.21.20%20FINAL.pdf. 13. 34 C.F.R. § 300.507(a)(2) (emphasis added). 14. 19 TEX. ADMIN. CODE ANN. § 89.1151(c). 15. See Tex. House Bill 1252, LEGISCAN, https://legiscan.com/TX/text/HB1252/ id/2251021 (last visited May 16, 2021), to track the legislative progress of this bill.
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