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Feds Scutinize Comal ISD Special-Ed

Officials with the U.S. Department of Education will visit Comal ISD this week to review its special-education program.

May 7 Update:

Comal ISD released this statement today in response to news that officials from U.S. Department of Education will visit Rebecca Creek and Startzville Elementary to assess the district’s progress in educating students with disabilities. the announcement follows a Texas Tribune article about the state’s violation of federal-education laws.

The United States Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) will be in Texas the week of May 6, 2019 to conduct site visits in selected districts regarding services to students with disabilities.

“We are pleased to host OSEP representatives as part of their TEA monitoring activities,” said Michelle Martella, Comal ISD’s Director of Special Education. “This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our robust service models for identifying and serving children that translate into authentic and meaningful outcomes for children. Comal ISD boasts a 12.2 percent district representation rate, which is well above the state average.”

The Office of Special Education randomly selected Comal ISD along with five other districts in the state to assess the district’s ongoing progress in the education of students with disabilities. Representatives with OSEP will visit Rebecca Creek and Startzville Elementary Schools to meet with district staff and review district, campus and child-level data, as well as policies and procedures regarding special education services.

“In Comal ISD we are serving more than 2,900 students with special education needs,” said Andrew Kim, Comal ISD Superintendent. “This year alone, we will be evaluating more than 1,100 students. In addition, we have seen 307 students transfer into Comal ISD from other districts for our special education services. The need for increased special education funding to serve our most vulnerable students is needed now more than ever.”

 “I am very appreciative of our special education teachers and staff who are dedicated in serving our students, as well as our principals and Special Education Department leadership.” Their passion for our students is evident in the work they do each and every day,” Kim said.

May 6

Texas Tribune is reporting today that officials with the U.S. Department of Education will visit Comal ISD this week to review its special-education program following an investigation last year that concluded Texas violates federal-education law for students with disabilities.

To read the Texas Tribune article, click here.

The district was selected at random. Last year, Texas found Comal ISD  does not need assistance or intervention with their special-ed programs.

Other school districts scheduled for visits include Spring Branch ISD and Lubbock ISD. Officials with the education department also will follow up on 2017 visits to Houston ISD, Laredo ISD and Everman ISD.

Texas’ non-compliance with federal regulations about educating students with disabilities could cost the state up to $223 million — nearly a quarter of the state’s special-education grant.

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