Special education programs in Texas have seen a sharp increase in enrollment after a policy that directed districts to limit such services was lifted.
More than 477,000 students received special education services in the 2016-17 school year, an increase of about 14,000 from the previous school year. Almost 9 percent of Texas students use special education resources, compared with about 13 percent of students nationwide in 2016.
The Texas Education Agency enacted a policy in 2004 to limit special education services to no more than 8.5 percent of students. The agency removed that policy last year, after a newspaper investigation found thousands of students with disabilities didn’t have access to necessary services. Texas passed legislation this year that prohibits setting a target number of students who can enroll in special education.
A version of this article appeared in the November 29, 2017 edition of Education Week as Texas Special Ed. Enrollment Surges After Change in State Policy