Part Two of the Houston Chronicle article “Denied” has been Published

This part of the story details how some Texas schools dramatically decreased their special education rolls by taking away needed services from children with autism, dyslexia, speech impairments, mental illnesses and other disabilities in response to the state’s 8.5 percent cap on the number of students with disabilities. The article focuses on the Laredo Independent School District and how the school district was punished by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for “over-identification” of students with disabilities. The district responded to TEA by taking away services and kicking our nearly one-third of its special education students in a single school year. There’s also an addition article on a school district administrator who is fighting his own employer to get his son back the special education services he desperately needs.        

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance to Schools on Ensuring Equity and Providing Behavioral Supports to Students with Disabilities

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) that emphasizes the requirement that schools must provide positive behavioral supports to students with disabilities who need them. To read more click the link below or the Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) link above.

Feds Target Texas’ Special Education Enrollment Problem

The U.S. Department of Education has written a three-page letter to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) commissioner Mike Morath about the findings in the Chronicle’s recent article concerning Texas’ declining Special Education population. The Chronicle exposed the state’s arbitrary 8.5 percent benchmark back in September, reporting that the policy has likely denied “tens of thousands” of students Special Education services just to cut costs. Special Education enrollment has decreased from 13 percent to 8.5 percent since 2004. To read the three page letter sent by the U.S. Department of Education to commissioner Mike Morath and the full article in Texas Monthly click the link below.