EDUCATION: Public Education

Federal officials plan second round of investigation on Texas special ed

Vanessa Tijerina addresses a U.S. Department of Education panel about her 13-year-old special needs child on Dec. 13, 2016, in Edinburg, Texas. Federal education officials toured Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education, as part of an investigation into whether Texas is capping services for students with disabilities.
Vanessa Tijerina addresses a U.S. Department of Education panel about her 13-year-old special needs child on Dec. 13, 2016, in Edinburg, Texas. Federal education officials toured Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education, as part of an investigation into whether Texas is capping services for students with disabilities.

Continuing its investigation into whether Texas capped special education services, federal officials will visit Texas districts and schools the week of Feb. 27.

Expecting spike in special ed students, advocates push for better services

Jean Gearhart gives a tearful statement with her husband Troy Gearhart to the panel about her special needs child. U.S. Department of Education officials held a meeting in Edinburg on their tour of Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education.
Jean Gearhart gives a tearful statement with her husband Troy Gearhart to the panel about her special needs child. U.S. Department of Education officials held a meeting in Edinburg on their tour of Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education.

Texas is expected to increase the number of public school students receiving special education services, and disability rights advocates are aiming to improve the overall quality of those services.

H-E-B CEO Charles Butt pledges $100 million to public schools nonprofit

Ruth Simmons, who will chair the board of the newly announced Holdsworth Center, meets with Garza High School students on Jan. 17, 2017.
Ruth Simmons, who will chair the board of the newly announced Holdsworth Center, meets with Garza High School students on Jan. 17, 2017.

Touting a $100 million investment from H-E-B Chairman and CEO Charles Butt, public school officials on Tuesday announced the creation of the Holdsworth Center, a nonprofit organization that will work with school districts.

Race in Education in Texas (video)

Check out full video from our conversation on race and education at the Texas Tribune symposium on race. Panelists include former Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams, Congressman Joaquin Castro, Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell and San Antonio ISD Assistant Superintendent Olivia Hernandez.

Bills would continue graduation committees for students who failed STAAR

State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston.
State Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, and state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston.

State Sen. Kel Seliger and state Rep. Dan Huberty have filed bills that would keep individual graduation committees, which allow students to graduate even if they fail required exams. The law creating these committees will expire in September.

School finance, testing fiasco topped 2016 education news

Protesters at a press conference held by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in May, 2016 calling on Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign over the district's bathroom guidelines for transgender students.
Protesters at a press conference held by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in May, 2016 calling on Fort Worth Independent School District Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign over the district's bathroom guidelines for transgender students.

School districts lost a court case that could have forced the state to reform its school finance system, and federal officials toured Texas to investigate claims that special education services were arbitrarily capped. 

South Texans claim school districts withheld special ed

Vanessa Tijerina addresses a U.S. Department of Education panel about her 13-year-old special needs child on Dec. 13, 2016, in Edinburg, Texas. Federal education officials toured Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education, as part of an investigation into whether Texas is capping services for students with disabilities.
Vanessa Tijerina addresses a U.S. Department of Education panel about her 13-year-old special needs child on Dec. 13, 2016, in Edinburg, Texas. Federal education officials toured Texas to hear community members' experiences with special education, as part of an investigation into whether Texas is capping services for students with disabilities.

Rio Grande Valley parents and educators told federal and state officials Tuesday that school districts lacked knowledge and resources to get students special education services that comply with federal law.

Feds, TEA to tour Texas for public comment on special ed

Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath discusses public education issues with Tribune CEO Evan Smith at the Austin Club in Austin, Texas on May 17, 2016.
Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath discusses public education issues with Tribune CEO Evan Smith at the Austin Club in Austin, Texas on May 17, 2016.

U.S. Department of Education and Texas Education Agency officials will hit five Texas cities to ask the public about their experience with special education, part of an ongoing investigation of the state's services.

Trump administration could boost voucher push

Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University on Jan. 28, 2016, while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to the Iowa caucuses.
Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University on Jan. 28, 2016, while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to the Iowa caucuses.

A Trump administration may put wind in the sails of Texas lawmakers pushing for "school choice," allowing parents to use taxpayer money to send their children to charter, private and religious schools. 

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