Texas doesn’t fund special education enough — and it’s hurting districts’ pockets

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From KERA News:

“Shawnda Kracja doesn’t want her daughter to be known as “the deaf kid.”

Kracja’s daughter is an incoming third grader at Davis Elementary, which has hosted a regional day school program for the deaf and hard of hearing for decades. But the other deaf and hard of hearing students at Davis will be moving to Harrington Elementary for the 2025-2026 school year. The Plano ISD board of trustees recently voted to close Davis and three other schools, citing budget concerns.

Plano is one of many school districts in Texas faced with hard decisions because of funding shortfalls. Disability advocates say special education funding in Texas falls short by about $2 billion — leaving school districts to foot the bill. And even wealthy districts are struggling to come up with the missing funds.

More Texas students are enrolling in special education. Texas had a cap of about 8.5% for special education enrollment until 2018. Now that the cap has been removed, Steven Aleman, a senior policy specialist with Disability Rights Texas, said more students are enrolling in special education services.”

Read the full article.