TEA Statement Regarding Gov. Abbott’s Directive on Special Ed in Texas

On Jan. 11, 2018, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) received a final monitoring report from the U.S. Department of Education with its findings on the delivery of special education services in the state. Gov. Greg Abbott has directed Commissioner of Education Mike Morath to take swift and immediate action to address findings in the report. Gov. Abbott has given TEA seven days to draft a corrective action plan. Commissioner Morath has issued the following statement in response to the Governor’s directive:

“I share Gov. Abbott’s urgency to quickly address the issues identified in this federal monitoring report. More importantly, I share the Governor’s commitment to doing what’s right for special education students in our public schools.

Since becoming Commissioner, I have worked to strengthen the supports provided to our parents and school systems in properly identifying students in need of services, and then ensuring those services are delivered. For example, we have added significant resources focused on increasing technical assistance and training for our school systems, including 39 statewide special education support staff in the last year. I am committing today that there will be more.

The corrective action plan called for by the Governor will outline the specific steps TEA will take to address all the identified issues. Parent and special education advocacy group representatives will play an ongoing integral role in helping shape this plan, as well as all efforts of the agency in the years ahead. My top priority has and continues to be to improve outcomes for all students in Texas.”

The monitoring report received by TEA today was issued following a listening tour by federal officials last year. The tour also included visits with TEA representatives, as well as some local school district teachers and administrators.

To read Gov. Abbott’s letter to Commissioner Morath, click here: https://tea.texas.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=51539619634.

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