S.B. No. 709
  relating to representation of a person in a special education
  impartial due process hearing.
         SECTION 1.  Subchapter A, Chapter 29, Education Code, is
  amended by adding Section 29.0162 to read as follows:
  PROCESS HEARING. (a)  A person in an impartial due process hearing
  brought under 20 U.S.C. Section 1415 may be represented by:
               (1)  an attorney who is licensed in this state; or
               (2)  an individual who is not an attorney licensed in
  this state but who has special knowledge or training with respect to
  problems of children with disabilities and who satisfies
  qualifications under Subsection (b).
         (b)  The commissioner by rule shall adopt additional
  qualifications required of a representative for purposes of
  Subsection (a)(2).  The rules must:
               (1)  prohibit an individual from being a representative
  under Subsection (a)(2) opposing a school district if:
                     (A)  the individual has prior employment
  experience with the district; and
                     (B)  the district raises an objection to the
  individual serving as a representative; and
               (2)  include requirements that the representative have
  knowledge of:
                     (A)  special education due process rules,
  hearings, and procedure; and
                     (B)  federal and state special education laws.
         (c)  A special education due process hearing officer shall
  determine whether an individual satisfies qualifications under
  Subsections (a)(2) and (b).
         (d)  The agency is not required to license or in any way other
  than as provided by Subsection (b) regulate representatives
  described by Subsection (a)(2) in a special education impartial due
  process hearing.
         SECTION 2.  Section 29.0162, Education Code, as added by
  this Act, applies only to representation at an impartial due
  process hearing brought under 20 U.S.C. Section 1415 that begins on
  or after the effective date of the Act.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2013.
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 709 passed the Senate on
  April 16, 2013, by the following vote: Yeas 29, Nays 0; and that
  the Senate concurred in House amendments on May 25, 2013, by the
  following vote: Yeas 30, Nays 0.
  Secretary of the Senate    
         I hereby certify that S.B. No. 709 passed the House, with
  amendments, on May 22, 2013, by the following vote: Yeas 145,
  Nays 3, two present not voting.
  Chief Clerk of the House