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June 23, 2008 (512) 463-0300

COMMITTEE TAKES A LOOK AT SPECIAL ED

(AUSTIN) -- The Senate Education Committee considered the state of special education in Texas at a hearing Monday, as part of its interim duties. The hearing focused on transition planning, that is, preparing learning or developmentally disabled student for life after high school. About 194,000 kids received transition planning services through their public schools last year, according to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Coordinator for the Texas Education Agency Kathy Clayton. The quality of this planning varies from district to district, depending of resources, with a large disparity between urban and rural districts. Laura Buckner, of the Arc of Texas, testified that mandatory training for teachers and administrators, teaching them about the need and the effectiveness of transition planning for special needs students, is one of the best ways to improve special education services in Texas.

The Senate Education Committee is chaired by Senator Florence Shapiro and consists of Senators Dan Patrick, Leticia Van De Putte, Kip Averitt, Judith Zaffirini, Steve Ogden, Tommy Williams, and Royce West.

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.

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