For Immediate Release:
March 27, 2019
Direct Line: 512.407.2739
Advocates Call for Action, Not Promises
AUSTIN—Every year the Texas Education Agency (TEA) must submit a formal request to the U.S. Department of Education for state funding under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Its recent application is currently open for public comment.
The draft version states that TEA cannot assure that all students with disabilities will receive a free appropriate public education until June of 2020. The application reveals that the state has failed to make progress in coming into compliance with special education mandates.
“Texas received its notice of violations of IDEA in January of 2018. It is unacceptable that the State is still not able to certify to federal officials that Texas can meet the fundamental requirements of special education law to deliver a free appropriate public education to every student with a disability,” said Steven Aleman, attorney and policy specialist at Disability Rights Texas, in public testimony given at a TEA public hearing earlier today.
Aleman went on to say that the application also reveals the State cannot assure the identification and evaluation of students who might need special education services, and that violation of the Child Find duty was at the heart of the federal investigation report in 2018.
“We expect the Commissioner of Education to explain this situation to the Legislature and respond with action, not more promises for change,” said Aleman.
The draft version of the state’s application for IDEA funding can be found on the TEA website.
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Disability Rights Texas (previously named Advocacy, Inc.) is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. Our mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society. Visit our website (DRTx.org) for more information on the scope of our services.
For background on the illegal 8.5 percent special education enrollment cap in Texas, the federal investigation, and the federally mandated corrective action plan, see our handout entitled, “Keeping Tabs on TEA” in the Education resources section of our website.