U.S. Department of Education seeks parent input on Texas Special Education Programs

Posted at 9:06 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 22:06:35-04

BELL COUNTY, TX — The U.S. Department of Education is now making it easier for parents of children with special needs to share their experience with Texas special education programs.

This following continuous reports that the Texas school districts are not providing adequate special education programs.

In 2018, the office of Special Education Programs at the Department of Education found that the Texas Education Agency failed to meet the federal requirements for special education programs.

”Very often, the needs are not being met or the minutes of services given aren’t adequate to meet the needs of their children. I think it is an ongoing problem that hasn’t been solved to this day.” said Irene Andrews, retired special education teacher.

In fact, in 2021, the TEA had not yet fulfilled the requirements given to them after the 2018 findings and now the Department of Education is reaching out directly to Texas parents.

Giving parents an avenue to share their experiences with the Department of Education, is something educators see as a good thing.

”Any kind of transparency that can be provided to parents, including at the federal level, that to me has got to be a good thing because parents need an avenue where they feel that they’re heard,” said Tam Jones, former Texas superintendent and current associate professor of leadership at Texas A&M Central Texas.

It is something retired special education teacher Irene Andrews said she heard every time she spoke to parents.

”Quite often they were denied services and given excuses from, we don’t have the equipment, or we don’t have the space, or we don’t have the time to take care of that," said Andrews.

While Texas educators agree with this new channel of communication, some feel it is not going to help much.

”You’re not going to get the kind of changes, especially in an immediate fashion, that you would get at a local level. If they’re hoping to rely on something national,” said Jones.

But that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t try.

”You know them better than anyone else. You will fight for them harder than anyone else will. So, don’t sell yourself short. Be the advocate for the child," said Andrews.