US Department of Education finds TEA liable for Special Education cap

The U.S. Department of Education completed an investigation finding Texas Education Agency officials liable for illegally instituting caps on the state’s special education services in an effort to keep special education costs low.

In 2016, the Houston Chronicle released a series of stories alleging that thousands of Texas students were not receiving the special education services they were legally required to because schools were under guidance to cap the provision of special education services to no more than 8.5 percent of students. Nationally, about 13 percent of American students receive special education services.

TEA officials have denied that there was a formal cap or that any schools were under guidance to deny students access to services since the release of the Chronicle’s coverage. However, in the wake of the US DOE finding, officials are defending their actions by pointing a finger at the legislature and saying lawmakers pressured them to limit services in order to keep special education costs low.

Following the feds report, Gov. Greg Abbott placed TEA Commissioner Mike Morath to craft a corrective action plan.

Read more coverage from the San Antonio News-Express and the Texas Tribune.

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