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Speaker Straus: Remove barrier to special ed services

Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has asked Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath to immediately fix or suspend an education policy that could be keeping some students from receiving the special education services they need.

In a letter to Morath on Wednesday, Speaker Straus urged Morath to take immediate action on an aspect of a monitoring system that they agency uses to ensure schools do not put too many students in special education. Recent news reports have raised concerns that the TEA policy has encouraged students to keep special-education enrollment artificially low.

"Students should not be denied the services they need," Speaker Straus wrote. "I urge you, immediately, to either make significant changes to the specific indicator in the monitoring system that is being cited as a reason schools are denying needed services to students, or to suspend the use of that indicator."

Speaker Straus said that legislators and the agency would have an opportunity during the 2017 legislative session to develop a more lasting solution.

You can read the full letter here.