HB 1556

85(R) - 2017
House Human Services
Senate Health & Human Services
House Human Services
Senate Health & Human Services
Health & Human Services
Public Education

Companion Bill

SB 1881

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Mary Gonzalez


Jose Menendez

Bill Caption

Relating to the appointment of foster parents and other qualified persons to serve as educational decision-makers for certain children in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services. 

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

This bill would remove the requirement that a school district give preferential treatment to a foster parent of a child with a disability when assigning a surrogate parent for the child. The bill would also require a foster parent of a child with a disability to complete a training program not later than the 90th day after the date the foster parent begins acting as the parent for making educational decisions. School districts would be prohibited from requiring a foster parent to take a training program if they have already taken an approved training program.

The bill also requires the department to appoint a surrogate parent for a child with a disability if the school district cannot locate a parent or the foster parent is unwilling or unable to serve as a parent regarding education decisions; the surrogate parent would not be allowed to be an employee of the department, the Texas Education Agency, or any other agency involved in the education or care of the child. Requirements for surrogate parents making education decisions for a child with a disability are also outlined in the bill, including completion of a training program that complies with the minimum standards set by agency rule. A person appointed to serve a the child's guardian ad litem or court-certified volunteer advocate would be allowed to be appointed as the child's surrogate parent. 

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill does not appear to have a connection to our liberty principles, although the bill does propose changes that would likely be to the benefit of children with disabilities in the foster care system. We remain neutral.