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Dallas, TX: District fails to comply with IDEA requirements, despite "growing demand"

Aug 1, 2018, Statesman Journal: Dallas schools violated law in 5 special education cases in 2 years https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/education/2018/08/01/dallas-schools-noncompliant-5-special-education-cases-2-years/723605002/ [***14 years ago Texas put a cap on SPED students at 8.5. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/education/2018/01/11/texas-broke-special-education-laws-deliberately-delayed-services-kids-need-federal-investigation-finds <<As this story below shows, numbers were actually about twice that. DSD has a SPED rate of 16% today.]

Five judgments against the Dallas School District in the last two years cite multiple ways school officials failed to comply with state and federal requirements for educating students with special needs…. The complaints range from children's school days being shortened to parents being excluded from meetings to staff's failure to identify a student's disabilities. District leaders say they have done everything state law requires. … Dallas officials say a growing demand for special education is at the root of the issue. There has been a 70 percent increase in behavioral and mental health needs in the last year in Marion and Polk counties, Galbraith said. A similar spike is seen in the district's rate of students accessing special education services. Of Dallas School District's 3,200 students enrolled in 2016-17, more than 520 students were identified as having special needs [16%] compared with about 465 students the year before. [14.5%]