AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Shocking numbers revealed this week shows tens of thousands of Texas children have been systematically denied the special education programs they need due to a cost-cutting measure.
Wende Parsley is a former educator and mom to Anthony, a 12-year-old boy diagnosed with mild Autism.
“If you could look at him and see that he had some kind of a disability, we probably would have had an easier time,” said Parsley.
Anthony was turned away from the school’s special education services and he’s not the only one. An investigation by the Houston Chronicle found the state adopted a policy in 2004 that set an 8.5 percent target for Texas school children receiving special ed services, which is the lowest percentage in the country.
The investigation found that setting a low benchmark saved the state billions of dollars while denying thousands of children services they need.
“I think that the system is really disconnected from what goes on in our homes to what goes on in the individual classrooms,” said Parsley. Parsley believes the best ways for Texas to close the gap and fix the problem is by talking to parents and teachers with special needs students.