Lost time: Many Texas special education students waiting for help

Monday, May 11, 2020 - 10:15am

More than two years after the U.S. Department of Education demanded that Texas education officials provide extra help for thousands of students denied special education, the state has failed to provide clear guidance to school districts, leaving struggling children to flounder, records show. "Schools have an obligation to ask parents for permission to test their child for special education if they suspect a student might have a disability," said Perry Zirkel, professor emeritus of education and law. "If school officials 'reasonably suspected' or knew the student may have had a disability but didn't provide him with services for months, then the student likely would be eligible for what's known as compensatory services. You owe him not only an (individualized education plan) in the future, but you need to make up for what you didn't give him in the past."

Research Focus: 
Education Law
Field of Expertise: 
Education Policy