Skip to main content

The Individualized Education Program (IEP)

If a child is eligible for special education services, the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee is required to develop an individualized education program (IEP). [34 CFR §300.320 - Definition of individualized education program.]

The ARD committee must consider:

  • The most recent evaluation
  • The strengths of the child
  • Parent input
  • Academic, developmental, and functional needs of the child

The IEP must contain:

  • A statement of present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP)
  • A statement of annual goal(s) and how progress toward meeting the annual goal will be measured.  For students with disabilities who take alternate assessment, a description of benchmarks or short-term objectives must be included (see information for Question and Answer Document: Individualized Education Program (IEP) Measurable Annual Goals below)
  • A description of special education and related services designed to meet the student’s needs
  • A description of the frequency for reporting progress to the parents
  • A statement of participation in state and districtwide assessments (see information for the STAAR Alternate 2 Eligibility module below)
  • A description of opportunities to participate in extracurricular and nonacademic activities or justification for nonparticipation
  • A description of the instructional setting and lengths of the student’s school day
  • A written statement of the IEP must document the decisions of the ARD committee with respect to issues discussed at each ARD committee meeting. The written statement must also include: (1) the date of the meeting; (2) the name, position, and signature of each member participating in the meeting; and (3) an indication of whether the child's parents, the adult student, if applicable, and the administrator agreed or disagreed with the decisions of the ARD committee.
  • Completion of the supplement for transition services (beginning for a student not later than when the student reaches 14 years of age)
  • Documentation of information provided to the parents and student regarding transfer of rights at age of majority
  • Completion of supplements for additional areas that are addressed for children with certain disabilities or needs:
    • Student who is blind or visually impaired
    • Transportation
    • Extended school year
    • Autism (Autism Supplement Guidance Document)
    • Placement in a residential educational placement
    • Placement at the Texas School for the  Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBI) or the Texas School for the Deaf
    • Behavior intervention plan

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has developed a model individualized education program form. The form contains only the required components of an IEP set out in the IDEA and all state-imposed requirements relevant to an individualized education program not required under federal law. (see TEC 29.0051)


Senate Bill (SB) 89, passed during the 87th Regular Texas Legislative Session, was signed into law on June 7, 2021, by Governor Abbott, and took effect immediately. 

 No later than May 1, 2022, Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committees must complete a required supplement as a written statement included in the child’s IEP. 

 Access more information from TEA about implementation of SB 89 at the following:

TEA Information Regarding SB 89 - Opens new window

House Bill 4545 recently passed in the 87th Regular Legislative Session . The new statute is effective, as of June, 2021, with acceleration instruction practices required during the 2021-2022 school year for all students, based on results from Spring 2021. 

 HB 4545 establishes new requirements for accelerated instruction for students who do not pass the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®).  

Access more information from TEA about House Bill 4545 and accelerated learning resources at the following:

TEA Information Regarding SB 4545 and Accelerated Learning - Opens new window

Question and Answer Document: Individualized Education Program (IEP) Measurable Annual Goals
This Question and Answer document is intended to provide guidance and best practices to local education agencies regarding ways to approach writing annual Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals that ensure involvement and progress in the student’s grade-level academic standards. This is also known as a standards-based IEP process.

Technical Assistance: Individualized Education Program (IEP) Development
This Technical Assistance: Individualized Education Program (IEP) Development from the Texas Education Agency provides helpful, general information for local education agencies (LEAs) and parents to develop an IEP that is individualized and based on the unique needs of the child, and is designed to enable him or her to work towards grade level content standards and achieve challenging goals.

STAAR Alternate 2 Eligibility Module

As part of the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) ongoing efforts to improve the state’s testing program, the Student Assessment Division has developed a web-based training, the STAAR Alternate 2: Eligibility module to provide guidance to Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committees to make assessment decisions based on state guidelines. This module helps ARD committee members assure that only students with significant cognitive disabilities are assessed with an alternate assessment. It is designed to supplement, not replace, the mandatory training required of all personnel involved in testing.

Standards-Based Individual Education Program (IEP) Process Training

A training was created by the Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Support Statewide Technical Assistance Network in collaboration with the Texas Education Agency with state and federal grants that focuses on developing present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP) development based on student data, drafting annual goals (academic and/or functional) and objectives, if appropriate, and collecting data for reporting progress. Participants will understand the importance of these components and how their alignment results in an appropriate and ambitious individualized education program for students receiving special education and related services. The intended audience for this training is special education teachers, related service providers, and any other professional staff responsible for drafting a student’s IEP, including present levels of academic achievement and functional performance and measurable annual goals. 

Please contact your regional education service center (ESC) for information about session details.