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Denied: How Texas keeps tens of thousands of children out of special education [Houston Chronicle]

Friday, September 16, 2016  
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Houston Chroncile


Since 1975, Congress has required public schools to provide specialized education services to all eligible children with any type of disability. However an in-depth Houston Chronicle investigation recently uncovered that over a decade ago, unelected Texas state officials quietly implemented a system that arbitrarily limits the percentage of students who should get special education services. The percentage chosen was 8.5 percent, which is much lower than the national average of 13%.


The Chronicle investigation – which included a survey of all 50 states; a review of records obtained from the federal government, state governments, and three dozen school districts; and interviews with more than 300 experts, educators, and parents – concluded that the 8.5 percent enrollment target has led to the systematic denial of services to tens of thousands of families and students. If Texas provided services at the same rate as the rest of the United States, 250,000 more kids would be getting critical services such as therapy, counseling, and one-on-one training.


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