Sec. 25.007: Transition Assistance for Students Who Are Homeless or in Substitute Care

(a) The legislature finds that:

(1) students who are homeless or in substitute care are faced with numerous transitions during their formative years; and

(2) students who are homeless or in substitute care who move from one school to another are faced with special challenges to learning and future achievement.

(a-1) In this section, “students who are homeless” has the meaning assigned to the term “homeless children and youths” under 42 U.S.C. Section 11434a.

(b) In recognition of the challenges faced by students who are homeless or in substitute care, the agency shall assist the transition of students who are homeless or in substitute care from one school to another by:

(1) ensuring that school records for a student who is homeless or in substitute care are transferred to the student’s new school not later than the 10th working day after the date the student begins enrollment at the school;

(2) developing systems to ease transition of a student who is homeless or in substitute care during the first two weeks of enrollment at a new school;

(3) developing procedures for awarding credit, including partial credit if appropriate, for course work, including electives, completed by a student who is homeless or in substitute care while enrolled at another school;

(4) promoting practices that facilitate access by a student who is homeless or in substitute care to extracurricular programs, summer programs, credit transfer services, electronic courses provided under Chapter 30A, and after-school tutoring programs at nominal or no cost;

(5) establishing procedures to lessen the adverse impact of the movement of a student who is homeless or in substitute care to a new school;

(6) entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Family and Protective Services regarding the exchange of information as appropriate to facilitate the transition of students in substitute care from one school to another;

(7) encouraging school districts and open-enrollment charter schools to provide services for a student who is homeless or in substitute care in transition when applying for admission to postsecondary study and when seeking sources of funding for postsecondary study;

(8) requiring school districts, campuses, and open-enrollment charter schools to accept a referral for special education services made for a student who is homeless or in substitute care by a school previously attended by the student;

(9) requiring school districts to provide notice to the child’s educational decision-maker and caseworker regarding events that may significantly impact the education of a child, including:

(A) requests or referrals for an evaluation under Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794), or special education under Section 29.003;

(B) admission, review, and dismissal committee meetings;

(C) manifestation determination reviews required by Section 37.004(b);

(D) any disciplinary actions under Chapter 37 for which parental notice is required;

(E) citations issued for Class C misdemeanor offenses on school property or at school-sponsored activities;

(F) reports of restraint and seclusion required by Section 37.0021; and

(G) use of corporal punishment as provided by Section 37.0011;

(10) developing procedures for allowing a student who is homeless or in substitute care who was previously enrolled in a course required for graduation the opportunity, to the extent practicable, to complete the course, at no cost to the student, before the beginning of the next school year;

(11) ensuring that a student who is homeless or in substitute care who is not likely to receive a high school diploma before the fifth school year following the student’s enrollment in grade nine, as determined by the district, has the student’s course credit accrual and personal graduation plan reviewed;

(12) ensuring that a student in substitute care who is in grade 11 or 12 be provided information regarding tuition and fee exemptions under Section 54.366 for dual-credit or other courses provided by a public institution of higher education for which a high school student may earn joint high school and college credit; and

(13) providing other assistance as identified by the agency.

Comments

Added by Acts 2009, 81st Leg., R.S., Ch. 850, Sec. 1, eff. June 19, 2009.

Amended by Acts 2013, 83rd Leg., R.S., eff. Sept. 1, 2013.

Amended by Acts 2015, 83rd Leg., R.S., eff. Sept. 1, 2015.