Teaching & Learning » State Compensatory Education (SCE)

State Compensatory Education (SCE)


Under Section 29.081 of the Texas Education Code (TEC), compensatory education is defined in law as “programs and/or services designed to supplement the regular education program for students identified as at-risk of dropping out of school.” 

  • Each school district shall use the student performance data resulting from the basic skills assessment instruments and achievement tests administered under Subchapter B, Chapter 39, to design and implement appropriate compensatory, intensive, or accelerated instructional services for students in the district's schools that enable the students to be performing at grade level at the conclusion of the next regular school term.
  • Each district shall provide accelerated instruction to a student enrolled in the district who has taken the secondary exit-level assessment instrument and has not performed satisfactorily on each section or who is at risk of dropping out of school.
  • Each school district shall evaluate and document the effectiveness of the accelerated instruction in reducing any disparity in performance on assessment instruments administered under Subchapter B, Chapter 39, or disparity in the rates of high school completion between students at risk of dropping out of school and all other district students.

--Refer to TEC, Section 29.081(a)                      

State Compensatory Education (SCE) funds may only be used to:

ü  close the achievement gap between at-risk and non-at-risk students (as measured by STARR, and must focus on reading, writing,mathematics, science and social studies instruction; and,

     ü  close the dropout rate gap between at-risk and non-at-risk.     


At-Risk criteria:

Refer to TEC, Sections 29.081 and 28.002(a)(1) and the TEA Financial Accountability Resource Guide –Module 9, Section

According to the Texas Education Code (TEC) 29.081 a “student at risk of dropping out of school” includes each student who is under 26 years of age and who:

  • is in prekindergarten, kindergarten, or grade 1, 2, or 3 and did not perform satisfactorily on a readiness test or assessment instrument administered during the current school year;
  • is in grade 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12 and did not maintain an average equivalent to 70 on a scale of 100 in two or more subjects in the foundation curriculum during a semester in the preceding or current school year or is not maintaining such an average in two or more subjects in the foundation curriculum in the currentsemester;
  • was not advanced from one grade level to the next for one or more school years; (Retained – stays with them for entire school career) NEW – NOTE: a student is not considered at risk of dropping out of school if the student did not advance from Pre-K or Kindergarten to the next grade level only as a result of the request of the student’s parent.
  • did not perform satisfactorily on an assessment instrument administered to the student under Subchapter B, Chapter 39, and who has not in the previous or current school year subsequently performed on that instrument or another appropriate instrument at a level equal to at least 110 percent of the level of satisfactory performance on that instrument;
  • is pregnant or is a parent; (Pregnant/Parent – stays with them for entire school career unless they are no longer parenting)
  • has been placed in an alternative education program in accordance with Section 37.006 during the preceding or current school year;
  • has been expelled in accordance with Section 37.007 during the preceding or current school year;
  • is currently on parole, probation, deferred prosecution, or other conditional release;
  • was previously reported through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) to have dropped out of school; (dropout – stays with them for entire school career)
  • is a student of limited English proficiency, as defined by Section 29.052;
  • is in the custody or care of the Department of Protective Services or has, during the current school year, been referred to the department by a school official, officer of the juvenile court, or law enforcement official
  • is homeless, as defined by 42 U.S.C. Section 11302, and its subsequent amendments; or
  • resided in the preceding school year or resides in the current school year in a residential placement facility in the district, including a detention facility, substance abuse treatment facility in the district, emergency shelter, psychiatric hospital, halfway house, or foster group home. 



Supplement not supplant – This program is a state mandated program and SCE funds may only supplement the regular education program for students identified as at risk of dropping out of school. SCE funds may supplement the dyslexia program [TEC 42.152(c-1)

Maintenance of updated and current district and campus improvement plans as regulated in state law, TEC Sections, 11.251-253 Submitted plans must meet these guidelines.

Evaluation of the program strategies/activities (expenses). 

Maintenance of appropriate documentation.


Under House Bill 5 high school students are now required to pass five State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) end-of-course exams to meet the new graduation requirements. There are exams that are no longer being required and some students were classified as at-risk based on their failure on the assessments that are no longer in use. 

A student who was identified as at risk based on this category last year should continue to be identified as at risk this school year, but the at-risk status should be removed at the end of this school year. 

The LEA should also determine whether the student meets any of the other criteria under TEC §29.081(d). An LEA should also review local eligibility criteria adopted by the board of trustees in accordance with TEC §29.081(g) to determine whether the student is eligible for services/supports.