I-Team: Feds Visit Tarrant County Schools As Part Of Special Ed Probe

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TARRANT COUNTY (CBS11) – Federal officials conducted onsite visits at two Everman ISD schools on Wednesday as U.S. Department of Education has expressed “serious concerns” about whether students with disabilities across Texas are getting the help they need.

Hommel Elementary School and Baxter Junior High School in Everman are two of 24 Texas schools federal officials will visit this week.

The U.S. Department of Education is trying to determine if schools have been pressured or influenced by a Texas Education Agency to keep special education enrollment down.

Since 2004, when the TEA added an 8.5 percent special education enrollment benchmark to the districts’ performance evaluations, special education enrollment across the state dropped from 11.2 percent to 8.5 percent of students.

Texas ranks last in the nation when it comes to the percentage of students who receive special education services.

Everman ISD Superintendent Curtis Amos told the CBS 11 I-Team his district has never been pressured from the TEA to keep students out of special education.

Amos said the decline in the special education enrollment in his district over the past decade is the result of students moving in and out of his district.

He said Everman ISD schools have never denied or delayed special education services to students who need the services.

“We don’t purposely try to create a situation where we maintain below a percentage,” Amos said. “We are going to do what’s best for our kids.”

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