Special Student Populations

  • Students enrolled in Texas schools speak more than 120 different languages. Consequently, a growing number of Texas students need help with English language acquisition. Bilingual education and English as a Second Language classes are available for these students. Others programs that focus on particular student needs are early childhood education, dyslexia and Section 504 training, and gifted and talented education. Specialized programs are also available to meet the needs of migrant students and children in foster care.

    Bilingual Education and English as a Second Language Instruction

    Bilingual education programs and English as a Second Language classes are available to students who are learning English. A Texas English Language Learners portal provides resources and additional information. Additionally, Title III, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) aims to ensure that English language learners (ELL) and immigrant students attain English language proficiency.

    Dyslexia

    Dyslexia is a special learning disability that is characterized by difficulties with accurate or fluent word recognition and poor spelling and decoding abilities. A dyslexia handbook, regional contacts and other resources are available.

    Education for Homeless Students

    Each school district has a staff person designated as the local homeless education liaison. This person can help families in need find appropriate education services. The Texas Education Homeless Office is available to provide technical assistance and service to districts that are serving homeless students.

    Foster Care

    Resources and materials from TEA provide guidance related to the unique circumstances surrounding students who are in the foster care system and attend Texas public schools. In Texas, nearly 16,000 school-age students are in foster care at any given time.

    Gifted and Talented Education

    The state’s goal for gifted and talented students is to ensure that those students who participate in G/T services demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication. 

    Migrant Education

    The Texas Migrant Education Program (MEP) enrolls approximately 45,000 eligible migrant students out of a total Texas public school enrollment of about five million students. The state’s migrant program is the second largest in the country.

    Special Education

    About one of every eight Texas public school students need special education services. A wide array of services and support are available for these students and families.