Special Education Graduation, Scheduling, and Counselor Livebinder Resources

What's Required

a) Graduation with a regular high school diploma under subsections (b)(1), (b)(2)(D), (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), or (g)(4)(D) of this section terminates a student's eligibility for special education services under this subchapter and Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and entitlement to the benefits of the Foundation School Program, as provided in Texas Education Code (TEC), §42.003(a).

(b) A student entering Grade 9 in the 2014-2015 school year and thereafter who receives special education services may graduate and be awarded a regular high school diploma if the student meets one of the following conditions.
  (1) The student has demonstrated mastery of the required state standards (or district standards if greater) in Chapters 110-118, 126-128, and 130 of this title and satisfactorily completed credit requirements for graduation under the Foundation High School Program specified in §74.12 of this title (relating to Foundation High School Program) applicable to students in general education as well as satisfactory performance as established in the TEC, Chapter 39, on the required state assessments, unless the student's admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee has determined that satisfactory performance on the required state assessments is not necessary for graduation.
  (2) The student has demonstrated mastery of the required state standards (or district standards if greater) in Chapters 110-118, 126-128, and 130 of this title and satisfactorily completed credit requirements for graduation under the Foundation High School Program specified in §74.12 of this title through courses, one or more of which contain modified curriculum that is aligned to the standards applicable to students in general education, as well as satisfactory performance as established in the TEC, Chapter 39, on the required state assessments, unless the student's ARD committee has determined that satisfactory performance on the required state assessments is not necessary for graduation. The student must also successfully complete the student's individualized education program (IEP) and meet one of the following conditions.
    (A) Consistent with the IEP, the student has obtained full-time employment, based on the student's abilities and local employment opportunities, in addition to mastering sufficient self-help skills to enable the student to maintain the employment without direct and ongoing educational support of the local school district.
    (B) Consistent with the IEP, the student has demonstrated mastery of specific employability skills and self-help skills that do not require direct ongoing educational support of the local school district.
    (C) The student has access to services that are not within the legal responsibility of public education or employment or educational options for which the student has been prepared by the academic program.
    (D) The student no longer meets age eligibility requirements.

(c) A student receiving special education services may earn an endorsement under §74.13 of this title (relating to Endorsements) if the student:
  (1) satisfactorily completes the requirements for graduation under the Foundation High School Program specified in §74.12 of this title as well as the additional credit requirements in mathematics, science, and elective courses as specified in §74.13(e) of this title with or without modified curriculum;
  (2) satisfactorily completes the courses required for the endorsement under §74.13(f) of this title without any modified curriculum; and
  (3) performs satisfactorily as established in the TEC, Chapter 39, on the required state assessments.

(d) Notwithstanding subsection (c)(3) of this section, a student receiving special education services classified in Grade 11 or 12 who has taken each of the state assessments required by Chapter 101, Subchapter CC, of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Implementation of the Academic Content Areas Testing Program) or Subchapter DD of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Substitute Assessments for Graduation) but failed to achieve satisfactory performance on no more than two of the assessments is eligible to receive an endorsement if the student has met the requirements in subsection (c)(1) and (2) of this section.

(e) In order for a student receiving special education services to use a course to satisfy both a requirement under the Foundation High School Program specified in §74.12 of this title and a requirement for an endorsement under §74.13 of this title, the student must satisfactorily complete the course without any modified curriculum.

(f) A student receiving special education services who entered Grade 9 before the 2014-2015 school year may graduate and be awarded a high school diploma under the Foundation High School Program as provided in §74.1021 of this title (relating to Transition to the Foundation High School Program), if the student's ARD committee determines that the student should take courses under that program and the student satisfies the requirements of that program. Subsections (c) and (d) of this section apply to a student transitioning to the Foundation High School Program under this subsection. As the TEC, §28.0258 and §39.025(a-2), modify the state assessment requirements applicable to students in general education, a student receiving special education services who is classified in Grade 11 or 12 who has taken each of the state assessments required by Chapter 101, Subchapter CC, of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Implementation of the Academic Content Areas Testing Program) or Subchapter DD of this title (relating to Commissioner's Rules Concerning Substitute Assessments for Graduation) but failed to achieve satisfactory performance on no more than two of the assessments may graduate if the student has satisfied all other applicable graduation requirements.


What We Do

Graduation requirements vary depending upon the year that the student entered ninth grade.

Make sure to take the ninth grade entry date into consideration when determining the student's graduation option (for specifics, see TEA Graduation Guidance Site)

Important Notes:
  • Students receiving special education services are no longer permitted to be exempted from the state assessment program and must take the assessment instrument that the ARD/IEP Committee has determined is appropriate. Information regarding the state assessment instrument and the alternate assessment instruments is available on the TEA website
  • A student who is dismissed from special education services must perform satisfactorily on the required state assessment, as only students receiving special education are eligible to participate in the Accommodated or Alternate versions of the assessment instruments.
  • ARD/IEP Committees should carefully consider whether a student is capable of passing the statewide exit-level assessment before dismissing the student from special education services.
  • An ARD/IEP Committee should have confidence that a student who is dismissed from special education will be able to successfully complete all of the requirements for high school graduation, including satisfactory performance on the statewide exit-level assessment.
  • The state's goal is that all Texas children finish high school with the skills designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living. Because graduation is a change of placement, the ARD/IEP Committee decides whether a student has met graduation criteria.
  • Graduation ends the school's obligation to provide services to the student with the exception of graduation under Option (b)(3) (Option C). When a student graduates under Option (b)(3)(Option C), the ARD committee will determine needed educational services upon the request of the student or parent(s) to resume services, as long as the student meets the age eligibility requirements.
  • Under this option an evaluation is not required, but the school must give the student a summary of performance to include an evaluation or Review of Existing Evaluation Data (REED).
  • A student receiving special education services who is 21 on September 1 of a school year will be eligible for services through the end of that school year or until graduation, whichever comes first. The student who graduates due to aging out and meeting his or her IEP requirements must be given a summary of performance.
Individual Graduation Committee (IGC) & Special Education

IGC Requirements do not apply to special education - TAC 74.1025(n).

(n) A student receiving special education services is not subject to the individual graduation committee requirements in the TEC, §28.0258, or the provisions of this section. As provided in §89.1070 of this title (relating to Graduation Requirements) and §101.3023 of this title (relating to Participation and Graduation Assessment Requirements for Students Receiving Special Education Services), a student's admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee determines whether a student is required to achieve satisfactory performance on an EOC assessment to graduate.


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