|Date:||January 28, 2021|
|Subject:||Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) Program|
|Next Steps:||Share with special education directors and other appropriate staff|
TEA has launched the Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) program, which allows families to apply for a $1,500 which can be used in the SSES marketplace to help mitigate the setbacks of school disruptions experienced by students with complex or significant cognitive disabilities due to COVID-19. The $1500 will be held in an online account with access to a marketplace which allows families to purchase additive services (speech, academic tutoring, occupational therapy, counseling etc), materials, and technology to support their eligible student(s). These services do not reduce or eliminate the responsibilities of schools to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to these students.
TEA is requesting that LEAs encourage eligible families of K-12 students who have been identified with complex disabilities or significant cognitive disabilities to review eligibility requirements and complete the online application through a secure portal. Following the submission of an application, eligible families will receive an email to create their SSES marketplace account through ClassWallet which will give them access to funding per eligible student.
To support LEAs with this communication, TEA will provide a secure upload through the ASCEND platform for each LEA which will contain a list of eligible students based on PEIMS data. Special education directors are familiar with ASCEND, as it is the online platform used by Special Education Review and Support and can be accessed through TEAL. The lists of eligible students will be uploaded into the ASCEND by Thursday, January 28, 2021. TEA will email designated LEA special education contacts once the lists are live in the platform.
In addition, here are resources for LEAs to use to communicate to families. The resources can be modified for your LEA’s unique needs but should only be used to communicate to families provided to you through the ASCEND platform.
LEAs should also communicate with families they believe to be eligible for this program but who are not included on the list. Enrollment requirements are K –12 students who were enrolled in SY 2019-2020 and are currently enrolled in SY 2020-2021.
TEA has secured funding to support up to 18,000 students for this program, families are, therefore, encouraged to apply quickly, as application approvals will occur daily priority will be given to students from economically disadvantaged families.
Additional information, and the application may be found at http://sses.tea.texas.gov.
Media and communication tools can be found at http://tea.texas.gov/SSESResources.
Please contact the SSES team with additional questions via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.