Common sense says special education should be available for every student with disabilities, and Texas shouldn’t interfere with this requirement of federal law.
Last month, the Houston Chronicle investigated and found a troubling guideline that targets special education for only 8.5 percent of Texas students. Called an “indicator” by TEA, the number has reportedly been used as a cap in many school districts.
Although the TEA says there are no penalties for districts that exceed the “indicator,” doing so is a negative factor in a school’s state rating.
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When the Education Department’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services looked into this in 2014, a TEA official said the “indicator” was established because of concerns that “some districts were inappropriately over-identifying students as students with disabilities.”
The feds seemed satisfied until the newspaper investigation raised more questions. Now, they have stepped back in.
They told the TEA to respond to the allegations, remove the cap and fix other related problems within 30 days.
This looks like a case of federal oversight protecting Texas students.