By: William J. Gumbert The treatment of students with disabilities in the Texas public education system has all the ingredients for an emotional and disturbing HBO series. It involves politics, money, deception, denial, Federal investigations, lawsuits, questionable State contracts and the wrongful termination of a “whistleblower” at the Texas Education Agency (“TEA”). Unfortunately, it also involves the neglect of underprivileged students and families that rely upon and are guaranteed assistance from public schools.
Season 1 could share the heartbreaking stories of the thousands of students and families that have been denied special education services in public schools. Season 2 could focus on the media’s investigative reporting and a Federal investigation that exposed TEA’s efforts to limit the number of students receiving special education services. Season 3 may cover the multiple missteps within the State’s response and the reality that corrective actions have not been fully implemented. The content for Season 4 is included herein. It is a season that highlights the hypocrisy within the State’s public education policies. In this regard, Season 4 chronicles the State’s steadfast support for the expansion of privately managed charters that are enrolling a limited number of students with disabilities, while also having a Federal mandate to ensure all students with disabilities are properly and equally served. Thus, the title of Season 4 is: “Texas Charter Schools – Perpetuating the State’s Historically Low Enrollment of Special Education Students”.
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