Public hearings held as federal officials investigate Texas Education Agency


When it comes to special education, Texas has absolutely nothing to brag about.

"Dead last, two years ago we were 48, last year we were 49 and this year we're 50," said special education advocate Karen Mayer Cunningham.

A published report claims the reason so few special education students in Texas receive services they are legally entitled to is because of the Texas Education Agency.

"Over 10 years ago TEA sent a message to Texas school districts that only 8.5 percent of students should be in special education," said attorney Dustin Rynders.

TEA officials admit the number of special education students in the lone star state is indeed declining but the agency says it's not due to an alleged cap they implemented to save millions.

"We see the documents they have shared with districts where districts are required to report their plan for lowering their special education numbers," Rynders said.

Now parents of special education students are getting their voices heard through a series of hearings with the U.S. Department of Education.

That federal agency is now investigating the TEA.

Parents of special needs students like Angel Webb say school districts aren't providing the services their children are legally entitled to.

"I hope they are going to hear from Texas parents loud and clear that we're worried our kids aren't getting the education they deserve and that no one is governing them," Webb said.

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