Hearing Officer (Funcionario de audiencia) – An impartial person appointed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in charge of a due process hearing. The hearing officer cannot be an employee of any agency involved in the education or care of the child who is the subject of the hearing and cannot have any personal or professional interest that would conflict with his or her objectivity in the hearing. The hearing officer must possess the necessary knowledge and skill necessary to serve as a hearing officer. The hearing officer issues a written decision based upon the evidence and witnesses presented at the hearing.
Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) (La Comisión de Salud y Servicios Humanos) – The state agency that oversees the Texas health & human service system, which is comprised of five agencies:
- Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)
- Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)
- Department of State Health Services (DSHS)
- Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
- Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
HHS administers certain health and human services programs, including the Texas Medicaid Program and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) (La ley de 1996 de responsabilidad y portabilidad del seguro médico) – A federal law that provides national standards to protect an individual’s medical records and other personal health information.
Highly Qualified Teachers (Maestros altamente calificados) – Under the No Child Left Behind Act and IDEA 2004, all teachers of core academic subjects must 1) hold at least a bachelor’s degree, 2) have full state certification, and 3) demonstrate knowledge in the core academic subjects they teach. The law emphasizes development and recruitment of “highly qualified teachers,” especially in low-performing and disadvantaged schools and in special education.
Home School (La escolarización en casa) – In Texas, children may be home schooled in lieu of attending traditional public school. Under the Texas Education Code, home schools must be run in a “bona fide manner” with a written curriculum that covers the basics of math, reading, spelling, grammar, and good citizenship. The Texas Education Agency does not regulate, index, monitor, approve, or register the programs available to parents who choose to home school, nor does the state of Texas award diplomas to students that are home schooled. In the event a home-schooled student wishes to enter a public school, most districts have policies and procedures in place to assess the mastery level of courses that students in home schools have taken. The results of the assessment may be used for grade placement and/or award of credit. Click here for information from TEA on Home Schooling.