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The Source: Texas Drives Kids Off Special Education Rolls, Report Says


A series of stories by the Houston Chronicle questions how the state determines, or allows school districts to determine, who receives special education. "Denied," the series from reporter Brian Rosenthal found that the state set an arbitrary number of 8.5 percent and worked towards ensuring the state met that threshold, despite the rates of kids meeting the special education requirements being higher in other states.


Administrators and teachers, the report says, have come forward saying they have intentionally delayed and denied services in order to meet state demands. Tens of thousands of students have been affected since the practice began under Gov. Rick Perry.

In subsequent stories, legislators have expressed disbelief and promised an end to the practice, which many say they never knew about despite Texas seeing a 46 percent drop in kids with learning disabilities since 2004.


  • Brian Rosenthal, statehouse reporter for the Houston Chronicle (@brianmrosenthal)
  • Steve Aleman, policy specialist at Disability Rights Texas
  • Gene Wu, state representative for district 137 (D-Houston)
  • Jose Menendez, state senator for district 26 (D-San Antonio)
  • Brian Woods, superintendent for Northside ISD
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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive