BELL COUNTY, TX – The US Department of Education is now making it easier for parents of children with special needs to share their experience with Texas special education programs.
This follows ongoing reports that school districts in Texas are not providing adequate special education programs.
In 2018, the Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs found that the Texas Education Agency had failed to meet federal requirements for special education programs.
“Very often, the needs are not met or the minutes of services given are not adequate to meet the needs of their children. I think this is a persistent problem that has not been resolved to date. said retired special education teacher Irene Andrews.
In fact, in 2021, the TEA had not yet met the conditions given to it after the 2018 findings and now the Department of Education is reaching out directly to parents in Texas.
Giving parents the opportunity to share their experiences with the Ministry of Education is something that educators see as a good thing.
“Any kind of transparency that can be provided to parents, including at the federal level, that has to be a good thing for me, because parents need an avenue where they feel heard,” said former superintendent Tam Jones. from Texas. and currently Associate Professor of Leadership at Texas A&M Central Texas.
It’s something Irene Andrews, a retired special education teacher, said she heard every time she spoke to parents.
“A lot of times they’ve been denied services and given excuses, we don’t have the equipment, or we don’t have the space, or we don’t have the time to take care of it” , Andrews said.
While Texas educators are okay with this new communication channel, some don’t think it’s going to help much.
“You’re not going to get the kind of change, especially immediate, that you would get at the local level. If they’re hoping to count on something national,” Jones said.
But that doesn’t mean parents shouldn’t try.
“You know them better than anyone. You will fight for them harder than anyone else. So don’t underestimate yourself. Be the child’s advocate,” Andrews said.