Municipal Judges Required to Complete Child Welfare and IDEA Training in 2019-20 Academic Year

In the 81st Regular Legislative Session (way back in 2009), a new requirement was placed upon municipal judges to complete minimum education related to child welfare and the Individuals with Disabilites Education Act (IDEA).

What is the IDEA?

IDEA is the federal law enacted with the goal of providing full educational opportunities to all students with disabilities in the United States. Those full educational opportunities are provided in public schools through special education programs. Therefore, IDEA serves as the basis for all special education programs in every public school in Texas. More specific to courts, the IDEA helps ensure certain rights to special education children who may be adversely affected by disciplinary proceedings in the juvenile justice system.

What is the requirement for education related to the IDEA?

House Bill 1793 established additional education requirements by mandating that every judge who handles juveniles charged with fine-only offenses complete a two hour course of instruction related to understanding the relevant issues of child welfare and the IDEA in every judicial academic year ending in 0 or 5. This requirement became effective on September 1, 2009.

Can I meet this requirement through my TMCEC judicial education this year?

 Yes, TMCEC offers you multiple options for satisfying this requirement. Here are your options: 

  1. Live Training at Regional Seminar (or by listening to the audio recordings from the 2020 Regional Judges Seminar)

  2. Webinars - All webinars offering IDEA credit have been placed under this IDEA page.

  3. Videos on the Online Learning Center – A child welfare and IDEA page is available this academic year with access to the videos dealing with child welfare and the IDEA. Judges who watch this fulfill the requirement.
 Additionally, you may provide proof of child welfare and IDEA training from another provider. For instance, you may also be a Justice of the Peace and if you received child welfare training as part of your TJCTC school, this satisfies the requirement.

 How do I report this requirement?

Judges who fulfill the requirement at a live Regional Seminar, will be able to indicate they have met the requirement on the Record of Attendance. Judges who watch webinars or listen to regional audio recordings and complete an evaluation for each one will receive a certificate that will be used to report the completion of the training. Judges who watch the videos on the online learning center will fill out an evaluation which will be used to generate credit towards the requirement.