TEA finalizes plan to improve special education
Date Posted: 4/25/2018
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has released its final action plan to address special education in Texas, which has been under scrutiny since 2017. That's when reporting unveiled what the agency is now acknowledging was an arbitrary and illegal benchmark for the amount of students receiving special education services. After intervention from the federal government and significant stakeholder feedback, TEA's final plan seeks to repair systematic issues that, in part, denied special education services to a disturbingly large number of Texas schoolchildren.
In a press release issued yesterday, TEA identified four major actions under the plan: a special education professional development system for educators; resources for parents of students who may need special education services and an accompanied outreach effort; funding for school districts providing services to students previously denied; and additional staffing and resources at TEA to support special education services and increase oversight.
TEA has identified some funding for administration of the plan, but highlights that "TEA cannot legally commit additional funds outside of those that are appropriated by the Texas Legislature and the US Congress." The agency said the plan is designed to work within existing appropriations and identifies a proposed budget of $212 million over the next five years. Stakeholders have argued funding is insufficient to produce effective delivery of the plan, but it will be up to the legislature to allocate additional money for the purpose of increasing adequate services under the plan. The plan does include a commitment from TEA to request additional funding from the 86th Legislature during the 2019 regular session for local special education needs.
The state's final strategic special education plan and more related information can be viewed at TEA's Improving Special Education in Texas webpage. The full press release announcing the final plan can be found here.
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
Teach the Vote’s Week in Review: June 2, 2023
The HB 100 voucher scheme dies at the end of regular session, plus a special session and the TEA takeover of Houston ISD begin.
From The Texas Tribune: Tension over property taxes produces rare public clash between Dan Patrick, Greg Abbott
Always happy to castigate the Texas House, Patrick breaks form to criticize the governor as misinformed and unsympathetic toward homeowners.
School Finance, Retirement | TRS | Social Security, Texas Legislature, Privatization | Vouchers, Educator Compensation | Benefits
Voucher dies as final weekend of 88th Legislature brings conflict between House and Senate
HB 100 was a casualty of a breakdown in communications between the House and Senate as the regular session drew to a close.