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Texas Denies Thousands of Special Needs Kids Access to Special Education

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Marie D. De Jesus
/
Houston Chronicle

Texas is keeping tens of thousands of kids out of special education who might, in other states, be considered special ed students.

That’s because, over a decade ago, Texas officials decided on a percentage of students that should get special education services. That number is 8.5 percent, and it is an arbitrary figure that doesn’t change according to how many students are actually in need.

As a recent Houston Chronicle investigation found, Texas strictly monitors school districts to make sure they aren’t serving too many special needs kids. The policy has never been publicly announced or explained. It has, however, saved the state billions in tax dollars. At the same time, notes the Chronicle, the program has denied vital assistant to children with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, epilepsy, mental illness, and even blindness and deafness.