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Top Stories: Texas Plans To Overhaul Special Education; Feeding Kids In The Summer


The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

The Texas Education Agency has launched a search for organizations to help school districts overhaul special education.

The Texas Tribune reports TEA officials on Monday put out a call for applications for more than $20 million in grants.The search comes after a lengthy federal investigation found the state had effectively denied students with disabilities access to needed services. 

Several of the contracts will go to organizations that can help schools educate some of the most vulnerable and neglected students with special needs.

Another contract is intended to help school districts train staff to evaluate which students need federally funded special education services. The federal government found many educators misunderstood the legal requirements around educating students with disabilities.

Other stories this morning:

  • A group of residents trying to limit how many terms Arlington City Council members can serve has submitted a petition to put the issue on the November ballot. Supporters of term limits handed over more than 11,000 petition signatures on Monday to the city secretary. If approved by voters, City Council members and the mayor would be limited to three two-year terms.

  • The so-called "surprise" wildfire in rural Palo Pinto County is nearly all contained. The Texas A&M Forest Service says 95 percent of the 4,400 acre blaze has been taken care of. Officials say a lightning strike last week is likely responsible for the wildfire about 60 miles west of Fort Worth.

  • A North Texas brewery recently won top honors at an international beer competition. Peticolas Brewing Company won five medals at the U.S. Open Beer Championship in Oxford, Ohio.

  • About 3 million kids in Texas qualify for free or reduced-priced meals during the school year. But after school lets out for the summer, many of the kids go without regular, nutritious meals for weeks. In Dallas, about 90 percent of students rely on free or reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches. KERA’s Stephanie Kuo reports a local program delivers hundreds of thousands of summertime meals to the kids that school districts can’t reach.

You can listen to North Texas stories weekdays at 8:22 a.m. and 6:20 p.m. on KERA 90.1 FM.