New Texas Legal Requirements Regarding Restraint, Time Out, FBAs & BIPs

In 2021 the 87th Texas Legislature amended state law relating to behavior improvement plans and behavioral intervention plans, as well as reporting requirements for certain behavior management techniques.

House Bill 785 amended Texas Education Code § 29.005, requiring annual reviews of behavior improvement and behavior intervention plans included as part of a student’s individualized education program.  The review should address changes in a student’s circumstances that may impact the student’s behavior and the safety of the student and others.

House Bill 785 also addressed reporting and documentation requirements regarding restraints and time outs, as set out in Texas Education Code § 37.0021(d). It requires school districts to provide written notification to the student’s parent or person standing in parental relation to the student for each use of restraint. Records must also be kept in the student’s special education eligibility school records. If the student has a behavior improvement plan or behavioral intervention plan, the district must document each use of time-out prompted by a behavior of the student specified in the student’s plan, including a description of the behavior that prompted the time-out.

Texas Education Code § 37.004 was also amended to include new consent and notice requirements applicable when a school district takes a disciplinary action regarding a student with a disability who receives special education services that constitutes a change in placement under federal law. The law requires districts to seek consent to conduct a functional behavioral assessment if the child does not have one or if the student’s most recent functional behavioral assessment is more than one year old. The district must also review any previously conducted functional behavioral assessment and any behavior improvement plan or behavioral intervention plan developed for the student based on that assessment, and as necessary, develop a behavior improvement plan or behavioral intervention plan for the student if the student does not have a plan, or revise an existing plan. This must be done no later than the 10th school day after the change in placement.  These requirements are currently available.

Ed311 is gearing up for its 35th  Annual Spring Conference on Special Education Law, scheduled for April 13, 2022, at the Irving Convention Center, and April 27, 2022, at the New Braunfels Convention Center.  Jim Walsh, founding partner of Walsh Gallegos Treviño Kyle & Robinson, P.C., will provide the latest on House Bill 785, restraint, FBAs, and BIPs.  To learn more about these new legal requirements and best practices for implementing them, don’t miss this important conference.

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