The Texas Education Agency fired the state's special education director Wednesday amid allegations that she covered up a sexual abuse case at her previous job at an Oregon school district, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

The firing comes two days after The Texas Tribune reported that Laurie Kash, who started at the Texas position in the summer, was facing a $1.85 million civil suit from two instructional assistants at Rainier School District in Oregon. The lawsuit alleges that a 6-year-old special education student told the plaintiffs she was being sexually abused by a high school boy but that Kash and her husband, superintendent Michael Carter, blocked them from reporting it to the authorities. After they reported it anyway, Kash and Carter harassed the plaintiffs in retaliation, the suit alleges.

The TEA said in a statement to the Statesman that the allegations were not disclosed during the hiring process for Kash and that they "prevent her from carrying out her duties effectively." The agency could not be reached for further comment Wednesday.

Read related Tribune coverage:

  • Texas' special education director is facing allegations from her old job in a small Oregon school district that she tried to cover up sexual abuse of a special education student. [Full story]

  • The Senate Education Committee drastically altered the House's primary piece of school finance legislation but suggested compromise with the House was possible with less than a week left in the special session. [Full story]

  • With a major bill for students with disabilities flying to the governor's desk, special education advocates are looking ahead to smaller bills that might not survive the upcoming deadlines for legislation to pass. [Full story]

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