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Graduation for Students Receiving Special Education Services

What are the graduation requirements for students that receive special education services?  
 
All students that receive special education services are required to complete the course and credit requirements of the Foundation High School Program if they entered high school in the year 2014 or after.  For more information about the Foundation High School Program requirements, please click on the TEA Graduation Toolkit to the right.
 
Additionally, the ARD committee will determine if a student receiving special education is required to meet satisfactory performance on the required state assessments, in order to meet graduation requirements.
 
When an ARD committee determines that a student requires modification(s) to the curriculum in a required course for state credit on the Foundation High School Program, the student will also be required to successfully complete their IEP and meet additional criteria to determine that the student has employability skills and/or access to services outside of the school district. 
 
 
 
Eligibility Requirements for Graduation (No Courses with Modification to the Curriculum)
 
What are the requirements for graduation for a student that has not received any course content with modifications?   A student may graduate and be awarded a regular high school diploma if the student has demonstrated mastery of the required state credits and curriculum of the Foundation High School Program, as well as satisfactory performance on the required state assessments, unless the ARD committee determines that satisfactory performance is not required on one or more of the state assessments.  The required state credits and courses may contain accommodations to the curriculum.
 
Note: All decisions about graduation and state assessments must be determined by the student's ARD committee.
 
 
Where can I find the eligibility requirements for graduation for students that have received accommodations only for state credit courses?  Refer to Commissioner’s Rules § 89.1070 (b) (1) 
 
 
 
Eligibility Requirements for Graduation (One or More Courses with Modification to the Curriculum)
 
What are the requirements for graduation for a student that has received modified content to one or more courses required for the Foundation High School Program?   A student may graduate and be awarded a regular high school diploma if the student has demonstrated mastery of the required state credits and curriculum of the Foundation High School Program, one or more of which contain modified curriculum, as well as satisfactory performance on the required state assessments, unless the ARD committee determines that satisfactory performance is not required on one or more of the state assessments. 
 
Additionally, the student must also successfully complete the IEP and meet one of the following conditions:
​         A. Obtain full-time employment with sufficient self-help skills
         B. Demonstrate mastery of specific employability skills and self-help skills
         C. Obtain access to services for employment or education options outside of the public school
         D. No longer meet age eligibility requirements
 
 
Note: All decisions about graduation and state assessments must be determined by the student's ARD committee.
 
 
Where can I find the eligibility requirements for graduation for students that have received modified content for one or more state credit courses?  Refer to Commissioner’s Rules § 89.1070 (b) (2) 
 
What are the age eligibility requirements for special education services?  Refer to Commissioner’s Rule § 89.1035. Age Ranges for Student Eligibility. (a) Pursuant to state and federal law, services provided in accordance with this subchapter must be available to all eligible students ages 3-21. Graduation with a regular high school diploma pursuant to §89.1070 (b)(1), (b)(2)(D), (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), or (g)(4)(D) of this title (relating to Graduation Requirements) terminates a student's eligibility to receive services in accordance with this subchapter. An eligible student receiving special education services who is 21 years of age on September 1 of a school year will be eligible for services through the end of that school year or until graduation with a regular high school diploma pursuant to §89.1070 (b)(1), (b)(2)(D), (g)(1), (g)(2), (g)(3), or (g)(4)(D) of this title, whichever comes first.
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
Have the eligibility requirements for earning an endorsement changed for students that receive special education services as a result of the 86th Legislative Session (June 2019)? Yes. The 86th Legislative Session passed HB165 which allows a student that has completed the required courses and credits on the Foundation High School Program, including additional credits in math, science, electives, and the courses required for the endorsement with or without modifications* to the curriculum, to earn an endorsement.  (TEC 28.025 (c-7))
 
*When an ARD committee determines that modifications to the curriculum are required, the ARD committee must also ensure that the curriculum remains sufficiently rigorous, in order for the student to retain eligibility for an endorsement.
 
Additionally, HB165 states that the student's ARD committee shall determine whether the student is required to achieve satisfactory performance on any end-of-course assessment to earn an endorsement on the student's transcript. (TEC 28.025 (c-8))
 
Prior to the 2019-2020 school year, a student was required to complete the courses and credits on the Foundation High School Program including additional credits in math, science, electives, and the courses required for the endorsement (with or without modified curriculum), the course requirements of at least one endorsement (which did not contain any modified curriculum), and pass at least three end-of-course assessments, in order to earn an endorsement.
 
Can a student that receives special education services earn an endorsement? Yes. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, a student that has completed the required courses and credits on the Foundation High School Program, including additional credits in math, science, electives, and the courses required for the endorsement with or without modifications* to the curriculum, is eligible to earn an endorsement.  (TEC 28.025 (c-7))
 
*When an ARD committee determines that modifications to the curriculum are required, the ARD committee must also ensure that the curriculum remains sufficiently rigorous, in order for the student to retain eligibility for an endorsement.
 
Can a student that receives special education services earn the distinguished level of achievement? Yes. Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, a student that has completed the required courses and credits on the Foundation High School Program, including additional credits in Algebra 2, science, electives, and the courses required for at least one endorsement with or without modifications* to the curriculum, is eligible to earn the distinguished level of achievement on their transcript.  It is up to the ARD committee to determine if the student is required to achieve satisfactory performance on any end-of-course assessment.
 
*When an ARD committee determines that modifications to the curriculum are required, the ARD committee must also ensure that the curriculum remains sufficiently rigorous, in order for the student to retain eligibility for an endorsement.
 
Can a student that receives special education services earn an endorsement if they were not able to achieve satisfactory performance on one or more state assessments? Yes.  Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, the student's ARD committee shall determine whether the student is required to achieve satisfactory performance on any end-of-course assessment to earn an endorsement on the student's transcript. (TEC 28.025 (c-8))
 
Can a student that receives modification(s) to the curriculum for a state credit course earn an endorsement? Yes.
Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, a student that has completed the required courses and credits on the Foundation High School Program, including additional credits in math, science, electives, and the courses required for the endorsement with or without modifications* to the curriculum, is eligible to earn an endorsement.  (TEC 28.025 (c-7))
 
*When an ARD committee determines that modifications to the curriculum are required, the ARD committee must also ensure that the curriculum remains sufficiently rigorous, in order for the student to retain eligibility for an endorsement.
 
Can students request to return to school for special education services after graduation with a diploma? For students who receive a diploma according to subsections (b)(2)(A), (B), or (C) or (g)(4)(A), (B), or (C) of TAC 89.1070, the ARD committee must determine needed educational services upon the request of the student or parent to resume services, as long as the student meets the age eligibility requirements. These rules are found in TAC 89.1070 (k).
 
 
 
 
 
                                                                              
 
 

 
Contact:
Townsley Tayebianpour
713.744.4470
 
 
 
7145 West Tidwell Road | Houston, Texas 77092-2096 | 713.462.7708