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January 11, 2018      6:14 PM

Updated: Gov. Abbott blames ISDs for special ed problems, educators fire back

Abbott blames schools for “dereliction of duty” while administrators argue the governor’s comments are “offensive and inaccurate.”

Despite the fact that all the reporting on the issue reflects school districts were following guidance from the Texas Education Agency when denying services to thousands of special needs students, Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday blamed ISDs for problems that the feds now say were illegal. Late in the day, educators of special needs students said Abbott’s comments were “offensive and inaccurate.”

Last year, then-Houston Chronicle reporter Brian Rosenthal uncovered the TEA’s decision to set a “target” for the maximum percentage of students who should receive special education services. It was set at 8.5 percent.

“The past dereliction of duty on the part of many school districts to serve our students, and the failure of TEA to hold district accountable, are worth of criticism," Abbott said. "TEA must take steps now to significantly increase the oversight provided to ensure our special education students are receiving the services they deserve.”

By Scott Braddock

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