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Purpose of the Program

The Evaluation Capacity program 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 program 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.


The award email received on December 20, 2018 was just the initial notification for planning purposes. A detailed performance contract with all fund source information and information about the system used to request reimbursement (iTCCS) will be forthcoming in January. Please note, that these funds will be considered federal funds and can be used from the program start date of September 1, 2018. Please contact Evelyn Villarreal at 210-370-5479 if you have further questions.


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 program that aligns to the rationale and assurances for the period of the program 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 Program has closed.

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



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 Program Online Database.

December 20, 2018
LEA notification of program 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 program application.

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

March 22, 2019
Close LEA applications and review.

April 8, 2019
LEA notification of program 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.



    • The duration of the program period is September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2019.
    • Yes, LEAs can apply for Evaluation Capacity Program 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.
    • 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 program 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.
    • 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.
    • Each member LEA must submit an individual application for consideration of Evaluation Capacity Program 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 Program 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, funding is awarded for a pre-award period from September 1, 2018-August 31, 2019 and provided via a reimbursement process. 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 Program.
    • No, LEAs receiving Evaluation Capacity funding may utilize funds in accordance with IDEA allowable expenditures that align with the purpose of the program. 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).
    • 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 Program. 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 federal fund code is 226 and this fund source should remain by the recipient. If the SSA is drawing down the funds on behalf of the member LEA, then it would be coded as 315.

      The funds should be used in accordance with allowable expenditures associated with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the information and requirements outlined in the Evaluation Capacity application and performance contract from ESC-20.

    • These funds are being provided through a performance contract. This award is NOT a program award. Therefore, no notice of program award (NOPA) will be received.
    • If you are a member of a SSA you can contract directly with your SSA fiscal agent to provide evaluation services that align with Evaluation Capacity guidelines.
    • Yes, LEAs must follow all federal funding requirements.
    • Awarded LEAs will provide a copy of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the year ending in August 31, 2019, which would include the funds for this award.
    • 84.027A


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