January 12th, 2018
Statement from Mimi Corcoran on U.S. Department of Education Investigation into Denial of Special Education for Thousands in Texas
WASHINGTON–For years, countless children with disabilities in Texas have been denied services they are guaranteed by law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Yesterday’s findings from the U.S. Department of Education’s (USED) Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) confirm the serious and systemic failure to serve children under IDEA that has taken place in Texas. Quite simply, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) failed to identify children who needed services under IDEA, failed to provide those services to them, and failed to help districts uphold the law.
We are heartened to see OSEP conduct such a thorough and comprehensive investigation of this issue – an investigation that has yielded startling findings on some of the most serious allegations we’ve seen in recent years. The resources invested by OSEP reflect their commitment to protecting the rights of students with disabilities and their families. While we cannot undo the harm done to the children and families who’ve been impacted, we can work with OSEP to hold Texas accountable. The Department has taken an important first step. We are watching to see how Texas carries out a corrective action plan to equip its educators to effectively support students with disabilities, and ensure that every child with a disability receives the services they are guaranteed by law.
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