Texas Education Code

Sec. § 37.008
Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs


(a)

Each school district shall provide a disciplinary alternative education program that:

(1)

is provided in a setting other than a student’s regular classroom;

(2)

is located on or off of a regular school campus;

(3)

provides for the students who are assigned to the disciplinary alternative education program to be separated from students who are not assigned to the program;

(4)

focuses on English language arts, mathematics, science, history, and self-discipline;

(5)

provides for students’ educational and behavioral needs;

(6)

provides supervision and counseling; and

(7)

employs only teachers who meet all certification requirements established under Subchapter B (Purpose), Chapter 21 (Educators).

(a-1)

The agency shall adopt minimum standards for the operation of disciplinary alternative education programs, including standards relating to:

(1)

student/teacher ratios;

(2)

student health and safety;

(3)

reporting of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of students;

(4)

training for teachers in behavior management and safety procedures; and

(5)

planning for a student’s transition from a disciplinary alternative education program to a regular campus.

(b)

A disciplinary alternative education program may provide for a student’s transfer to:

(1)

a different campus;

(2)

a school-community guidance center; or

(3)

a community-based alternative school.

(c)

An off-campus disciplinary alternative education program is not subject to a requirement imposed by this title, other than a limitation on liability, a reporting requirement, or a requirement imposed by this chapter or by Chapter 39 (Public School System Accountability) or 39A (Accountability Interventions and Sanctions).

(d)

A school district may provide a disciplinary alternative education program jointly with one or more other districts.

(e)

Each school district shall cooperate with government agencies and community organizations that provide services in the district to students placed in a disciplinary alternative education program.

(f)

A student removed to a disciplinary alternative education program is counted in computing the average daily attendance of students in the district for the student’s time in actual attendance in the program.

(g)

A school district shall allocate to a disciplinary alternative education program the same expenditure per student attending the disciplinary alternative education program, including federal, state, and local funds, that would be allocated to the student’s school if the student were attending the student’s regularly assigned education program, including a special education program.

(h)

A school district may not place a student, other than a student suspended as provided under Section 37.005 (Suspension) or expelled as provided under Section 37.007 (Expulsion for Serious Offenses), in an unsupervised setting as a result of conduct for which a student may be placed in a disciplinary alternative education program.

(i)

On request of a school district, a regional education service center may provide to the district information on developing a disciplinary alternative education program that takes into consideration the district’s size, wealth, and existing facilities in determining the program best suited to the district.

(j)

If a student placed in a disciplinary alternative education program enrolls in another school district before the expiration of the period of placement, the board of trustees of the district requiring the placement shall provide to the district in which the student enrolls, at the same time other records of the student are provided, a copy of the placement order. The district in which the student enrolls shall inform each educator who will have responsibility for, or will be under the direction and supervision of an educator who will have responsibility for, the instruction of the student of the contents of the placement order. Each educator shall keep the information received under this subsection confidential from any person not entitled to the information under this subsection, except that the educator may share the information with the student’s parent or guardian as provided for by state or federal law. The district in which the student enrolls may continue the disciplinary alternative education program placement under the terms of the order or may allow the student to attend regular classes without completing the period of placement. A district may take any action permitted by this subsection if:

(1)

the student was placed in a disciplinary alternative education program by an open-enrollment charter school under Section 12.131 (Removal of Students to Disciplinary Alternative Education Program; Expulsion of Students) and the charter school provides to the district a copy of the placement order; or

(2)

the student was placed in a disciplinary alternative education program by a school district in another state and:

(A)

the out-of-state district provides to the district a copy of the placement order; and

(B)

the grounds for the placement by the out-of-state district are grounds for placement in the district in which the student is enrolling.

(j-1)

If a student was placed in a disciplinary alternative education program by a school district in another state for a period that exceeds one year and a school district in this state in which the student enrolls continues the placement under Subsection (j), the district shall reduce the period of the placement so that the aggregate period does not exceed one year unless, after a review, the district determines that:

(1)

the student is a threat to the safety of other students or to district employees; or

(2)

extended placement is in the best interest of the student.

(k)

A program of educational and support services may be provided to a student and the student’s parents when the offense involves drugs or alcohol as specified under Section 37.006 (Removal for Certain Conduct) or 37.007 (Expulsion for Serious Offenses). A disciplinary alternative education program that provides chemical dependency treatment services must be licensed under Chapter 464 (Facilities Treating Persons With a Chemical Dependency), Health and Safety Code.

(l)

A school district is required to provide in the district’s disciplinary alternative education program a course necessary to fulfill a student’s high school graduation requirements only as provided by this subsection. A school district shall offer a student removed to a disciplinary alternative education program an opportunity to complete coursework before the beginning of the next school year. The school district may provide the student an opportunity to complete coursework through any method available, including a correspondence course, distance learning, or summer school. The district may not charge the student for a course provided under this subsection.

(l-1)

A school district shall provide the parents of a student removed to a disciplinary alternative education program with written notice of the district’s obligation under Subsection (l) to provide the student with an opportunity to complete coursework required for graduation. The notice must:

(1)

include information regarding all methods available for completing the coursework; and

(2)

state that the methods are available at no cost to the student.

(m)

The commissioner shall adopt rules necessary to evaluate annually the performance of each district’s disciplinary alternative education program established under this subchapter. The evaluation required by this section shall be based on indicators defined by the commissioner, but must include student performance on assessment instruments required under Sections 39.023 (Adoption and Administration of Instruments)(a) and (c). Academically, the mission of disciplinary alternative education programs shall be to enable students to perform at grade level.

(m-1)

The commissioner shall develop a process for evaluating a school district disciplinary alternative education program electronically. The commissioner shall also develop a system and standards for review of the evaluation or use systems already available at the agency. The system must be designed to identify districts that are at high risk of having inaccurate disciplinary alternative education program data or of failing to comply with disciplinary alternative education program requirements. The commissioner shall notify the board of trustees of a district of any objection the commissioner has to the district’s disciplinary alternative education program data or of a violation of a law or rule revealed by the data, including any violation of disciplinary alternative education program requirements, or of any recommendation by the commissioner concerning the data. If the data reflect that a penal law has been violated, the commissioner shall notify the county attorney, district attorney, or criminal district attorney, as appropriate, and the attorney general. The commissioner is entitled to access to all district records the commissioner considers necessary or appropriate for the review, analysis, or approval of disciplinary alternative education program data.
Added by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 260, Sec. 1, eff. May 30, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1015, Sec. 6, eff. June 19, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 396, Sec. 2.16, eff. Sept. 1, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 1112, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 631, Sec. 2, eff. June 20, 2003; Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1055, Sec. 11, eff. June 20, 2003.
Amended by:
Acts 2005, 79th Leg., Ch. 504 (H.B. 603), Sec. 5, eff. June 17, 2005.
Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 1171 (H.B. 426), Sec. 1, eff. June 15, 2007.
Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1316 (S.B. 49), Sec. 1, eff. June 17, 2011.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 324 (S.B. 1488), Sec. 21.003(19), eff. September 1, 2017.
Acts 2017, 85th Leg., R.S., Ch. 851 (H.B. 2442), Sec. 7, eff. June 15, 2017.
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Jun. 7, 2021