Spring ISD’s special education department was deemed below expectations for one of three indicators in a 2022-23 Texas Education Agency special education audit, but SISD leaders said Sept. 7 that they are addressing the issues.

In a nutshell

During SISD’s Sept. 7 board workshop, Thelissa Edwards, the district’s executive director of special education, presented the findings of the TEA’s 2022-23 special education audits. For the TEA’s State Performance Plan Indicator 11, SISD’s special education program received a score of 89.6% during the 2022-23 school year, which is considered “noncompliant.” According to Edwards:
  • SPPI 11 measures the percentage of students who are evaluated for enrollment in the special education program within 45 days of the student’s parents giving consent.
  • SPPI scores below 100% are considered noncompliant.
“What it means is that during that time, we did not meet 100% of those students having been evaluated within that timeline,” Edwards said.

What else?

Over the past three school years, Edwards said some of the challenges that have contributed to SISD’s noncompliance include:
  • Finding and retaining qualified special education staff
  • School shutdowns seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020
In response to the TEA’s noncompliance designation, Edwards said SISD’s special education program leaders have created a corrective action plan, which includes employee training as well as recruitment and retention efforts.

Put in perspective

For the 2022-23 school year, SISD achieved compliance for SPPI 12—which measures the percentage of students in need of a special education program plan who are given one by age 3—according to the TEA’s website. The district was considered noncompliant in the 2021-22 school year with a score of 90.7%

Additionally, Edwards noted SISD has been considered in compliance for SPPI 13—which measures the percentage of children age 16 and older with an individual special education plan that meets certain criteria—since at least the 2020-21 school year.

Did you know?

About 11% of SISD’s student population is enrolled in the district’s special education programs. The program is led by about 200 SISD employees.