AUSTIN – The Texas Education Agency (TEA) has posted a comprehensive draft strategic plan for special education. The plan, which includes components of a corrective action response that will be sent to the U.S. Department of Education, is available for review and public comment through April 6, 2018.
“The purpose of special education is to provide sufficient support to our students with disabilities, on an individualized basis so that they can obtain the same level of academic success typical of their peers,” reads the executive summary of the TEA Special Education Strategic Plan. “Working together, we will significantly improve outcomes for our special education students.”
TEA drafted an initial corrective action response regarding the support and delivery of special education services in our state’s public schools. That initial draft (shared publicly on Jan. 18, 2018) addressed all issues identified in a federal monitoring report, including the proper identification of special education students and assuring access to appropriate services at the local level.
The draft strategic plan reflects steps the agency will initiate – beyond what is being required by the U.S. Department of Education. It reflects feedback, recommendations and suggestions provided to TEA during an extensive outreach effort that included direct interaction with special education students, families, educators, advocacy groups, as well as district and school officials. Outreach efforts included:
- 110 independent focus groups in all 20 Education Service Center regions statewide
- 7,094 responses to an open online survey posted on the TEA website;
- 153 stakeholder interviews; and
- 4,106 responses to a needs assessment survey.
All comments regarding the strategic plan, as well as the corrective action response, can be submitted electronically by email at TexasSPED@TEA.texas.gov. Under the current timeline, the final State corrective action plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education in mid to late April.
To review the draft strategic plan, visit the TEA website at https://tea.texas.gov/TexasSPED.
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