The Texas Education Agency has failed to show it sufficiently addressed any of the U.S. Department of Education’s requirements for improving special education across the state, federal officials said in a letter to the agency last month.
The Oct. 19 missive said the agency was unable to provide federal officials with enough documentation and data to show it has completed its corrective action plan after a federal investigation found TEA put an arbitrary cap on the percentage of students districts could provide with special education services. Additionally, the letter stated local school districts continued to struggle with ambiguous guidance in some instances, and that some continued to violate federal disability law.
In the letter, officials with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, or OSEP, said that while TEA has implemented some actions to address its violations of federal disability law, “OSEP cannot determine, in the absence of additional and up-to-date information, whether these actions have been sufficient to fully address the noncompliance…”
Steven Aleman, a senior policy specialist with Disability Rights Texas, said his organization found the letter buried on the Department of Education’s website but had not heard from TEA officials that they received it.
“TEA needs to step forward and acknowledge they received the letter — that they have to respond to the federal government and need input from school districts, families and other organizations to continue to move in right direction,” Aleman said. “The fact we had to discover this report ourselves is not encouraging.”
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