In 1995, the Texas legislature established the concept of juvenile justice alternative education programs (JJAEP). This legislation mandated a separate educational setting to ensure safe and productive classrooms through the removal of dangerous and/or chronically disruptive students and to address the issue of expelled youth receiving no educational services during the period of expulsion. Prior to the creation of JJAEPs, children with serious, persistent misbehavior issues and dangerous students either remained in the classroom or were expelled to the street.
Thus, the state had a critical interest in ensuring safe classrooms for teachers and students while providing educational services in an alternative setting for expelled students. The legislation provides for juvenile justice alternative education programs (JJAEPs) operated by county juvenile boards in counties of more than 125,000. Each juvenile board is required to have a Memorandum of Understanding detailing the operation of the JJAEP with each school district in the county.
A JJAEP must focus on English / Language Arts, mathematics, science, social studies and self-discipline. JJAEPs are required to operate seven hours a day for 180 days a year. The Taylor County Juvenile Department's JJAEP is an alternative educational environment for students under the supervision of the juvenile court and who have not been successful in the traditional and alternative school settings. The Taylor County Learning Center is located at 889 S. 25th Street in Abilene, Texas.