Department of Education to visit 6 TX school districts, including Lubbock ISD

They are looking to see how different districts around the state evaluate students for special needs programs

U.S. Department of Education to visit Lubbock

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The U.S. Department of Education and Office of Special Education Programs are visiting six Texas school districts including some Lubbock ISD campuses this week to meet with administrators and teachers. They want to see how the state of Texas is doing when it comes to evaluating students for special needs services and deciding how they are eligible or ineligible they are.

Last year, the Office of Special Education Programs looked at twelve districts and found the Texas Education Agency was out of compliance with their child-find obligation. This is their process for identifying and evaluating kids for special needs.

“We’re happy they’re going to come in and visit us,” said Kami Finger, the Executive Director of Lubbock ISD Special Needs Services, saying right afterwards that she believes Lubbock ISD is ready for the visit.

This year, they’re visiting six school districts in Texas and Lubbock ISD is one of them.

“This is not a district-level monitoring. This is a state monitoring. They’re checking to see that T.E.A. (Texas Education Agency) has corrected what they need to correct and that’s evident in the district policies and procedures. I think they will find that our policies and procedures are what they should be when as it relates to evaluating students. They’ll look at things like our special needs percentage and compare it to the state average.”

Right now, she says, 9.1 percent of kids in Texas school systems are enrolled in special needs programs while 12 percent of Lubbock ISD kids are in special needs programs.

She also says the Office of Special Education programming is not going to provide them with any feedback.

“They’re not coming into monitor the school district, they’re coming in to monitor the state. So they’re feedback will be given to the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Education Agency will adjust accordingly.”

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