K. Decisions Regarding Education Required at Adversary Hearing

1. Designation of Education Decision-Maker

Tex. Fam. Code § 263.004 requires DFPS to provide notice to the court and others of the entity or person holding education decision-making authority. Generally, when appointed temporary or permanent managing conservator, DFPS is given the rights and duties of a non-parent managing conservator pursuant to Tex. Fam. Code § 153.371, which includes the right to make decisions regarding the child’s education. Tex. Fam. Code § 153.371(10).

Unless the court order limits the rights and duties of DFPS under Tex. Fam. Code § 153.371(10) to make decisions regarding the child’s education, DFPS must file with the court the name and contact information for each person who has been:

•   Designated by DFPS to make educational decisions on behalf of the child; and

•   Assigned to serve as the child’s surrogate person in accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1415(b) and Tex. Educ. Code § 29.001(10), for purposes of decision-making regarding special education services, if applicable. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.004(a).

Not later than the fifth day after the date of an Adversary Hearing held under Tex. Fam. Code § 262.201 or Tex. Fam. Code § 262.205 is concluded, DFPS must file the information required by Tex. Fam. Code § 263.004(a) with the court and provide a copy to the school the child attends. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.004(b).

Special Issue: The notice required by Tex. Fam. Code § 263.004 will be provided by DFPS via Form 2085E, Designation of Education Decision-Maker. For more information regarding this form, please see the Bench Book Chapter entitled Education.

If a person other than a person identified under Tex. Fam. Code § 263.004(a) is designated to make educational decisions or assigned to serve as a surrogate parent, DFPS shall file the updated information in a permanency progress report filed under Tex. Fam. Code§ 263.303 or Tex. Fam. Code § 263.502. The updated information must be provided to the school the child attends not later than the 5th day after the date of the designation or assignment. Tex. Fam. Code § 263.004(c).

2. DFPS Must Ensure the Child Returns Child to School After Removal

If DFPS takes possession of a child during the school year, DFPS shall ensure that the child returns to school not later than the third school day after the date an order is rendered providing for possession of the child by DFPS, unless the child has a physical or mental condition of a temporary and remediable nature that makes the child’s attendance infeasible. Tex. Fam. Code § 264.115(a).

If the child has a physical or mental condition of a temporary and remediable nature, that makes the child’s attendance infeasible, DFPS shall notify the school in writing that the child is unable to attend school. If the child’s physical or mental condition improves so that the child’s attendance is feasible, DFPS shall ensure that the child immediately returns to school. Tex. Fam. Code § 264.115(b).