US Education Department Conclusion
The US Department of Education earlier concluded that
Texas violated federal law with regard to students with disabilities
in three substantial ways:
• TEA failed to ensure that all children with disabilities resid-
ing in the state who are in need of special education and
related services were identified, located, and evaluated,
regardless of the severity of their disability, as required by
IDEA Section 612(a)( 3) and its implementing regulation at
34 CFR §300.111.
• TEA failed to ensure that a free appropriate public education
was made available to all children with disabilities residing
in the state in mandated age ranges (ages 3 through 21), as
required by IDEA Section 612(a)(1) and its implementing
regulation at 34 CFR §300.101.
• TEA failed to fulfill its general supervisory and monitoring
responsibilities as required by IDEA sections 612(a)( 11) and
616(a)(1)(C) and its implementing regulations at 34 CFR
§§300.149 and 300.600 and 20 U.S.C. 1232d(b)( 3)(A) to
ensure that school districts throughout the state properly
implemented the IDEA’s child find and free appropriate
public education requirements.
Criticism from Local Districts
Following the US Department of Education’s announcement,
Abbott sent a letter to Morath directing him to take immediate
steps to prepare an initial corrective action plan to reform special
education in Texas.
“The past dereliction of duty on the part of many school dis-
tricts to serve our students and the failure of TEA to hold districts
accountable are worthy of criticism,” Abbott said in a statement.
“TEA must take steps now to significantly increase the oversight
provided to ensure our special education students are receiving
the services they deserve.”
This prompted criticism, specifically from the Texas Council
of Administrators of Special Education (TCASE).
“Governor Abbott’s press release quote implying that public
school districts exhibited a ‘dereliction of duty’ is offensive and
inaccurate,” the group said in a statement. “Governor Abbott
must realize that he and some members of his Texas Legislature
exhibited their own dereliction of duty by failing to support all
children attending public schools in this state.”
The TCASE statement goes on to highlight the lack of state
support for children with special needs both within districts and
The US Department of
Education concluded that
Texas violated federal law
with regard to students
with disabilities in three
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