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Texas Seeks Community Feedback On The State's Special Education Services


U.S. Department of Education officials want to hear from Texas families and students on getting access to special education services. The two-hour sessions are scheduled to begin Dec. 12.

Texas education officials will join federal authorities for the "listening sessions." Anyone can comment on the timely identification and evaluation of students with disabilities, and the delivery of services to those eligible.

In September, a Houston Chronicle story alleged special education services were denied to thousands of eligible Texas students in order to save the state tens of millions of dollars. A federal letter to the Texas Education Agency raised concerns. The TEA said it never denied services to eligible students, but also said it would make changes to some policies.

These sessions — hearing directly from those who use services from, or are involved in special education — are a result of the allegations.

The first sessions are set for Richardson and Houston on Monday, Dec. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m.  Other meetings elsewhere in the state take place the Dec. 13 and Dec. 15.

Here are details provided by the Department of Education:

Dallas, Monday, Dec.12 
6–8 p.m.
Region 10 – Richardson
400 E. Spring Valley Rd.
Richardson, Texas 75081-5101
(972) 348-1536

Houston, Monday, Dec.12 
6–8 p.m. 
McKinney Conference Center, Room 100 A-F
7200 Northwest 100 Dr.
Houston, Texas 77092
(713) 462-7708

El Paso, Tuesday, Dec. 13 
6–8 p.m. 
Region 19 – El Paso
6611 Boeing Dr.
El Paso, Texas 79925
(915) 780-6570

Edinburg, Tuesday, Dec.13 
6–8 p.m. 
Region 1 – Edinburg
1900 West Schunior
Edinburg, Texas 78541-2234
(956) 984-6180

Austin, Thursday, Dec.15 
6–8 p.m. 
Region 13 – Austin
5701 Springdale Rd.
Austin, Texas 78723-3675
(512) 919-5313

These meeting sites are accessible to individuals with disabilities, and sign language interpreters and Spanish language translation will be available. 

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.