Speaker of the House asks TEA to halt controversial special ed rule

Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio (Texas House of Representatives)
Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio (Texas House of Representatives)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The leader of the Texas House of Representatives, Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, asked the Texas Education Agency to make a change to it’s controversial special education rule.

A recent Houston Chronicle investigation found Texas schools deny tens of thousands of students from special education services. Many in the investigation laid the blame on a TEA rule that 8.5 percent of students get services. That’s among the lowest rate in the country.

Straus asked the agency to halt the rule or seriously change it before the next legislative session in January.

“It will be a priority for the Texas House to make special education services available to all students who need them, while also ensuring that schools do not identify students for special education when it isn’t appropriate,” wrote Speaker Straus.

Lauren Callahan from the Texas Education Agency released a statement saying:

“TEA is working with special education advisory groups for feedback and guidance on all aspects of special education policy. (TEA) Commissioner Morath continues to discuss this specific issue with parents and educators throughout the state. He is committed to ensuring those students who qualify for special education services get them.”

“The House will work with TEA to find the right balance. But in the meantime, students should not be denied the services they need,” wrote Straus.

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