During the 83rd Texas Legislative Session (2013), the Legislature appropriated funds for the Local Educational Agency Risk Pool, Rider 36. These funds are to assist local education agencies (LEAs), including school districts and charter schools, in addressing the needs of "high need children with disabilities" and the financial impact on the budget of the child’s LEA.
It is the intent of the Legislature that the use of these funds by school districts and charter schools does not violate the least restrictive environment (LRE) requirements of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004, as addressed in 34 CFR §300.114.
The LEA may request a High Cost Fund award provided that:
- the LEA has not violated the least restrictive environment requirements of IDEA 2004;
- has not lapsed IDEA-B Formula or Formula Deaf funds from the previous school year;
- does not roll forward 50% or more of its 2012-2013 IDEA-B Formula funds; and
- has complied with all systems of accountability and reporting to the TEA, including but not limited to accountability ratings, performance-based monitoring, compliance, fiscal reports, and dispute resolution processes.
The costs of each high need student must be at least $35,000 to meet eligibility requirements for a HCF award. These costs may only be those costs associated with providing direct special education and related services to the child that are identified in that child’s IEP.
The first step toward requesting a High Cost Fund award is to submit the HCF Eligibility Application.
The HCF Eligibility Application must be submitted by the Special Education Director or a designee. If the district is a member of a shared services arrangement (SSA), the HCF Eligibility Application must be submitted by the SSA Fiscal Agent.
A TEA SE (Texas Education Agency Secure Environment) account is required in order to access and submit the HCF Eligibility Application. If the submitter already has a valid TEA SE user name and password for at least one other TEA application, the submitter can log on as usual at the TEASE logon and click “Add/Modify Application Access.” From this page, the HCF Eligibility Application can be selected from the drop down list. If the submitter does not already have a TEA SE user name and password, the submitter must click Request for new TEASE accountto apply online for both a user account and for access to the HCF Eligibility Application. For information on how to apply for a TEA SE account, access: TEASE HELP
After the HCF Eligibility Application has been submitted to TEA and has been reviewed for eligibility, an award letter or denial letter will be mailed to the Superintendent of the Single Member District or to the Superintendent of the Fiscal Agent of a SSA. A copy of the letter will be mailed to the Special Education Director of the LEA and also to the Special Education Contact of the Education Service Center (ESC).
Once the award letter has been received by the district, the Single Member District or the Fiscal Agent of a SSA MUST budget the High Cost funds via the eGrants Standard Application System (SAS), using the 2013-2014 IDEA-B High Cost Grant Application (SPED AH14). The eGrants application may be accessed at: TEASE Logon. Failure to apply for these funds via the eGrants application will result in loss of funds.
Dates Applications are open:
The HCF Eligibility Application will be available online at TEASE Logon from December 2, 2013 through January 28, 2014.
The eGrants IDEA-B High Cost Grant application (SPED AH14) (to budget funds) will be available March 2014. (However, LEAs must wait to receive an award letter before accessing the eGrants IDEA-B High Cost Grant Application SPED AH14)
The HCF Eligibility Application (to request an award) must be submitted electronically by 11:59 pm Tuesday, January 28, 2014. All HCF Eligibility applications received by this deadline will be considered for a High Cost Fund award, subject to eligibility criteria. HCF Eligibility applications received after the deadline will not be considered for a HCF award.
The deadline to submit the eGrants IDEA-B Discretionary High Cost Fund (SPED AH14) application (to budget the funds) is July 15, 2014.
High Cost Fund Preamble and State Plan
High Cost Fund Question and Answer
High Cost Fund Instructions
Technical Assistance Contact information:
(512) 463-9414 | High Cost Funding Team or email firstname.lastname@example.org
TEA SE Support or e-mail email@example.com
ESC Special Education Contact at your regional education service center
(512) 463-7025 | eGrants Help Desk or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Division of Federal and State Education Policy
1701 North Congress Avenue | Austin, Texas 78701-1494
Telephone: 512.463.9414 | Fax: 512.463.9560