Texas unveils special education fix after denying services

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas has unveiled a formal plan to overhaul special education statewide, after federal officials found that services were for years illegally denied to students with disabilities.

The Texas Education Agency released a draft plan in January. It conducted 100-plus feedback focus groups with students, parents, teachers and school administrators before releasing Tuesday’s final plan.

It calls for increasing special education staffing, providing better special education training for teachers and creating more tools for parents of children with suspected disabilities.

Texas also will assist school districts in identifying and helping thousands of students who were previously denied services.

The U.S. Department of Education previously concluded that Texas school districts, for more than a decade beginning in 2004, illegally capped the number of special education students at 8.5 percent of total enrollment.

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