Report: Benchmark led to special education services denials

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HOUSTON (AP) - More than a dozen teachers and administrators from across Texas say they delayed or denied special education to disabled students in order to stay below the benchmark state officials set for the number of students who should get such services.

A Houston Chronicle investigation found the Texas Education Agency's enrollment benchmark for special education services of 8.5 percent led to the denial of services by school districts. In the years since Texas' 2004 implementation, the rate of students getting special education dropped from near the national average of 13 percent to the lowest in the country. It fell to 8.5 percent in 2015.

TEA officials deny keeping disabled students out of special education, saying it isn't a cap or a target but an "indicator" of school district performance.

(Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com)