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Purpose of Grant

The Evaluation Capacity grant is designed to research, identify, procure, and deploy resources and personnel to assist Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in securing appropriately certified and/or licensed evaluation staff for the purposes of completing evaluations for eligibility for special education services. This grant will provide LEAs with improved access to highly trained evaluation personnel and/or funds to free up existing evaluation personnel. Resources and support will be made available to help LEAs across the state quickly fill short-term needs for evaluation personnel.

 

 

Application Instructions

In order to be considered for award, the application must be fully completed. Applications must be completed by an individual LEA, applications submitted on behalf of a Shared Service Arrangement will not be accepted. Awarded LEAs must meet Eligibility Criteria #1 pertaining to a documented rise in the number of initial evaluations completed, and at least one additional eligibility criteria outlined in the application. Awarded LEAs must maintain localized documentation for a period of five years following the grant that aligns to the rationale and assurances for the period of the grant for random validation checks. Applications must be completed fully and submitted by December 1, 2018. Awarded LEAs will be notified by December 20, 2018.

The application period for the Fall 2018 Evaluation Capacity Grant has closed.

The Spring 2019 application period will open on March 1, 2019.

 

Timeline

November 1, 2018
Release Independent Contractor Request for Proposal (RFP). Education Code requires a two week period for advertisement + a two week period for bid window (Total of 4 weeks).

November 15, 2018
Distribute information to LEAs and provide webinar training statewide.

November 16, 2018
Open first semester application for LEAs.

November 29, 2018
Close RFP and begin scoring all proposals.

December 1, 2018
Close LEA applications and review and close RFP and score all proposals

December 20, 2018
Notify all vendor recipients and post to Evaluation Capacity Grant Online Database.

December 20, 2018
LEA notification of grant award for first semester.

February 7, 2019
Send awarded LEAs a Periodic Data Report to complete.

February 21, 2019
All awarded LEAs must submit completed Periodic Data Report.

February 21, 2019
Distribute information to LEAs and provide webinar training statewide for second semester grant application.

March 1, 2019
Open 2nd semester application for LEAs.

March 22, 2019
Close LEA applications and review.

April 8, 2019
LEA notification of grant award for second semester.

May 3, 2019
Send awarded LEAs a Periodic Data Report to complete.

May 17, 2019
All awarded LEAs must submit completed Periodic Data Report.

August 2, 2019
Send awarded LEAs a Periodic Data Report to complete.

August 16, 2019
All awarded LEAs must submit completed Periodic Data Report.

 

FAQs

  • The duration of the program period is September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019.
  • Yes, awarded funding can be used for any costs related to purpose of the grant incurred during the program period of September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019.
  • LEAs can use the Evaluation Capacity funds awarded in accordance with allowable expenditures associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for the purposes of completing evaluations for eligibility for special education services. Local documentation must be retained to demonstrate how the LEA used Evaluation Capacity funds to alleviate the shortfall of evaluation personnel through contract service provision, expanded employee service provision, or other methods. Any funding received may be used at the discretion of the Local Education Agency in accordance with the program purpose of the Evaluation Capacity grant.
  • No, each LEA must submit an individual application for consideration of Evaluation Capacity grant funding. When completing the application section titled Total Evaluation Personnel FTE, the SSA would divide the number of evaluation FTEs for the SSA by the number of member LEAs in the arrangement. The resulting number would be reported in this entry field for each member LEA submitting an application.
  • TEA classifies Texas public school districts into community types using factors such as enrollment, growth in enrollment, economic status, and proximity to urban areas. The categories include:

    • Major Urban
    • Major Suburban
    • Other Central City
    • Other Central City Suburban
    • Independent Town
    • Non-Metropolitan: Fast Growing
    • Non-Metropolitan: Stable
    • Rural
    • Charter School Districts

     

    To locate classification information for a specific LEA, visit the TEA website.

  • All types of evaluation professionals may be reported here including Educational Diagnosticians, Licensed Specialists in School Psychology (LSSPs), Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) and related service providers. A part-time evaluation staff would be added per the percentage of FTE. For example, an LSSP who is employed half-time, would be .5 of an FTE.
  • No, the Total 2017-2018 LEA Student Enrollment (all students) should reflect the total number of students enrolled in the LEA.
  • When completing this REQUIRED eligibility criteria, LEAs must enter detailed information pertaining to the number of initial evaluations completed over the course of the last three school years. This information should correspond with the number of initial evaluations submitted by the LEA within the State Performance Plan Indicator 11 data platform. LEAs must also enter the number of initial referrals resulting in initial evaluations experienced thus far from the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year until the current date of Evaluation Capacity application submission. The documented rise will be determined by comparing the current rate of evaluations with the previous three-year average rate experienced. Data entered into the fields of Criteria #1 should only reflect Initial Evaluations that have been, or will be reported in SPP 11. Initial Evaluations completed as part SPP 12 related to Early Childhood Transition are not included in this area. The purpose of the Evaluation Capacity grant is to provide funding to LEAs experiencing a rise in initial evaluations for students related to Child Find activities for students between the ages of 3-21 years.
  • When completing this eligibility criteria, LEAs must enter the number of unfilled full-time evaluation personnel positions that are currently posted for employment. LEAs must also indicate the maximum length of time these unfilled positions have been posted for employment application with attempts to be filled. The proven shortage in evaluation personnel will be determined by analyzing the number of unfilled positions and the length of time the positions have remained unfilled.
  • When completing this eligibility criteria, LEAs must provide a narrative description including documented evidence demonstrating that existing evaluation personnel have experienced a diminished impact to other duties due to the rate of increased initial evaluation requests. Documented evidence should include the type of duties diminished and the impact to systems of campus support.
  • Awarded LEAs MUST meet Eligibility Criteria #1 pertaining to a documented rise in the number of initial evaluations completed, AND at least one additional eligibility criteria (Criteria #2 OR Criteria #3) outlined in the application.
  • Yes, LEAs can apply for Evaluation Capacity grant funding allocation during both open submission windows (November 16, 2018 – December 1, 2018; and March 1 2019, - March 22, 2019). Each submission window requires its own application, corresponding data, and assurances.
  • No, LEAs receiving Evaluation Capacity funding may utilize funds in accordance with IDEA allowable expenditures that align with the purpose of the grant. This may include contracting with vendors to assist in providing evaluation support. Vendors are selected at the discretion of the LEA, and the selection may include providers available through the Evaluation Capacity database at the pre-negotiated price points of service delivery. After the LEA contacts an awarded vendor, the vendor will provide information about availability. Communication will take place directly between the qualifying LEA and the awarded vendor (or the private vendor of their choice).
  • LEAs experiencing unique hardship in locating available evaluation service providers due to remote geographic location requiring extensive travel needs may apply for a supplemental amount of funding to assist with these increased provider expenses. The application for supplemental travel funding based on unique hardship will be open to qualified LEAs 30 days after receiving notification of Evaluation Capacity fund award. The LEA will submit an application documenting attempts to retain contract service providers from the Evaluation Capacity vendor list and the results of those attempts. The duration of the grant period remains the same for these funds (9/1/18 to 8/31/19). LEAs must budget accordingly to meet evaluation timelines, as the Geographic Hardship award is not guaranteed.
  • This would not affect MOE unless the LEA lowered state and local funds.
  • LEAs will not request a specific dollar amount when applying for the Evaluation Capacity Grant. Fund determinations will be made on an individual basis given the number of LEAs that apply statewide.
  • Yes. At this time, due to the anticipated evaluation needs of awarded LEAs, access to the vendor database will be limited to awarded LEAs only.
  • The rates provided in the RFP from vendors do not indicate attendance at an ARD meeting. LEAs are encouraged to have this conversation while engaging in the contract process with the vendor.

 

Regional Contacts
Region 1
First Last Role
Brenda De La Garza Education Specialist
Region 2
First Last Role
Maricela (Mari) Garza Special Education Specialist (SLP)
Region 3
First Last Role
Kenda Matson SpEd Director/Evaluation specialist
Region 4
First Last Role
Kara Zwolinski Student Evaluation Specialist/Chil Find/Eligibility
Region 5
First Last Role
Lisa Heiner Special Education Program Coordinator
Region 6
First Last Role
DeAnn Barnwell Coordinator / Special Education
Region 7
First Last Role
Helen Crissey Sp. Ed. Specialist
Region 8
First Last Role
Janis McClurre Special Education Director
Mikki Perry Sp. Ed. Consultant
Region 9
First Last Role
Amy Blackwell Education Specialist
Region 10
First Last Role
Robin Pokladnik Evaluation Consultant
Region 11
First Last Role
Stefanie Cassels Special Education Evaluation Instructional Support
Region 12
First Last Role
Janeia Vorderkunz Evaluation Specialist
Region 13
First Last Role
Lindy Frazer Evaluation Specialist
Region 14
First Last Role
Patti Tessen Consultant, Transition & Evaluation
Region 15
First Last Role
Mandy Hoelscher Special Education Specialist
Region 16
First Last Role
Crissy McDaniel Evaluation Consultant
Region 17
First Last Role
Anna Phillips Student Support Services Coordinator
Elizabeth Archer Evaluation Consultant
Region 18
First Last Role
Leslie Wilson Educational Consultant
Region 19
First Last Role
Anna Mondragon Special Education Project Manager
Region 20
First Last Role
Amanda Real Evaluation Consultant
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  • Amy M. Strauch
    LSSP Field Service Agent
    (210) 370-5440
    Contact Amy Strauch

  • Sherry Marsh
    Component Director,
    Special Education Support Services
    (210) 370-5411
    Contact Sherry Marsh

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