National education and labor news

Texas illegally denied special education services

The U.S. Department of Education announced on Jan. 11 that the Texas Education Agency ran afoul of federal law by failing to provide adequate special education services in the state’s public schools. After a 15-month investigation, the Education Department found that Texas school districts did not meet the requirements of the 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

According to the Education Department, Texas officials had arbitrarily limited how many students could get special education services at 8.5 percent of enrollment and penalized districts that went over that cap. That figure falls significantly short of the nationwide average of 13 percent of students identified as needing special education.

The advocacy group Texans for Special Education Reform welcomed the findings.

“This report vindicates the thousands of Texas parent and teacher voices who tried for a decade to get someone to hear what was happening to our students,” the group said in a statement. “It’s critical to remember that real Texas children are behind these numbers and the denial of their education opportunity is nothing less than moral failure by our state.”

NPR, Jan. 11
Dallas Observer, Jan. 17

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