October 7th, 2021
NCLD Supports ED’s Steadfast Enforcement of IDEA: The Texas Education Agency Must Comply
WASHINGTON – October 7, 2021 – The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) supports the decision by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to impose specific considerations intended to correct noncompliance for the Texas Education Agency (TEA) due to continued violations of federal law.
For years, countless children with disabilities in Texas have been denied services they are guaranteed by law under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In a letter to the TEA Commissioner on August 27th, 2021, the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) stated that TEA had failed to provide a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities, to identify children who needed services under IDEA, to provide those services to them, and to help districts uphold the law. ED gave the state 30 days to provide documentation of necessary changes to be in compliance. This letter was issued after TEA did not demonstrate compliance with IDEA after previous OSEP monitoring reports in 2018 and 2020 identified items needing addressed.
On October 1, 2021, OSEP sent a follow up letter to the TEA stating that it continues to be out of compliance with federal law and its recently submitted documents did not fulfill certain requirements under IDEA. OSEP is now imposing special considerations on IDEA grant awards issued to the agency, requiring the state to regularly update and report to OSEP on how the state is correcting the issues. TEA must show that its Dyslexia Handbook and program are being implemented, disseminated, and monitored. To do this, the agency must disseminate the revised Dyslexia handbook to parents and stakeholders and train districts on the changes to the revised handbook.
“We will not accept the systematic denial of required services and supports for students with disabilities that has occured in Texas and we urge state leaders to take significant measures in order to right these wrongs” said Lindsay E. Jones, President and CEO of NCLD. “IDEA is exceptionally important because it allows students with disabilities to get the education they need to succeed in our nation’s schools. We support OSEP and the U.S. Department of Education for upholding this important law to protect the rights of students with disabilities and their families.”
Download the full statement here.
The National Center for Learning Disabilities’ mission is to improve the lives of the 1 in 5 children and adults nationwide with learning and attention issues—by empowering parents and young adults, transforming schools and advocating for equal rights and opportunities.
For more information, please contact:
Lindsay Kubatzky, Director of Policy and Advocacy
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