Austin, TX — Sparked by a yearlong investigation from the Houston Chronicle and now confirmed by the New York Times, Texas Republicans knowingly excluded thousands of kids with special needs from having access to essential school services. [New York Times, January 12, 2018]
Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Crystal K. Perkins issued the following statement:
“Gov. Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans have knowingly denied these kids their educational right and downplayed this issue when it was initially reported on almost 2 years ago.
“When education budgets are slashed, state agencies are forced to do more with less and make cuts. This time it was at the expense of special needs children. Instead of fixing the problem, Republicans demanded a special session and millions of taxpayer dollars towards divisiveness and bigotry.
“Texas Republicans’ newfound urgency to fix this issue is long overdue, too many Texan kids have already suffered the consequences of their failed leadership.”
“…regulators from the federal Department of Education said the state agency’s decision to set a “target” for the maximum percentage of students who should receive special education services had violated federal laws requiring schools to serve all students with disabilities.”
“the share of students receiving special education services in Texas dropped from 11.6 percent in 2004 to 8.6 percent in 2016 — a difference of about 150,000 children.”