Lubbock ISD special education program increases amid calls for r

Lubbock ISD special education program increases amid calls for reform

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The U.S. Department of Education reports Texas educators are breaking federal law in the way they teach students with disabilities.

Federal investigators indicate the state's not properly evaluating special ed students and is not providing them with an adequate education.

Agents place the burden directly on the Texas Education Agency for failing in its oversight capacity to ensure districts are following the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.

The report claims the TEA incentivizes low percentages of students with disabilities by making its agents focus on districts with rates above 8.5 percent.

Kami Finger with Lubbock ISD says the district doesn't focus on percentages when it comes to providing for its students.

"Even though our total enrollment this year has decreased, our special education program has increased," Finger said. "We take into account only if the student has a disability and if the student requires the support and services then we apply the support and services."

The TEA developed this standard to keep districts' budgets in line and Finger says the district's has not been getting the funding needed to keep providing services.

"When you're spending all of the money you're getting from the state and from the federal government to support your special education services, then dipping into the general fund as well," she said. "That should support and warrant the need for more appropriations to support quality services in a school district."

Gov. Abbott ordered Commissioner Mike Morath to create a plan to address the problems outlined in the report. He wants that plan on his desk by Thursday.

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