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TEXAS: "Surge in demand" for SPED evals; program "could go bankrupt"

Oct 6, 2023, Bolly Inside: Texas Schools Struggle to Meet Demand for Special Education Evaluations, Leading to Backlogs and Financial Strains https://www.bollyinside.com/news/education/texas-schools-struggle-to-meet-demand-for-special-education-evaluations-leading-to-backlogs-and-financial-strains/

Texas schools are facing challenges in meeting the demand for special education evaluations, causing delays and financial strain on districts. The backlog of evaluations has led some parents to pay for private professionals to assess their children’s disabilities. School districts have increased spending on outside contracting firms to conduct evaluations, resulting in a doubling of contract work spending over the past five years. However, this has not been enough to meet the growing demand, with thousands of evaluations not being completed within the required deadlines. District officials are concerned that without a solution, special education programs could face financial difficulties.

Demand for special education evaluations in Texas has surged, leading to backlogs and financial strain on school districts.

• Parents are resorting to paying for private professionals to assess their children’s disabilities due to long wait times.

• School districts have increased spending on outside contracting firms for evaluations, but it hasn’t been enough to meet the demand.

• Thousands of evaluations have not been completed within the required deadlines, causing delays in accessing services.

Texas schools straining to meet need for special education evaluations

As the demand for special education evaluations in Texas continues to grow, schools are struggling to keep up, leading to delays and financial strain. Parents are experiencing long wait times for their children’s evaluations, prompting some to pay for private professionals.


School districts have turned to expensive outside contracting firms, but this has not been sufficient to meet the demand. Thousands of evaluations have not been completed within the required deadlines, causing further delays in accessing services. District officials are concerned about the financial implications for special education programs.

Backlogs and Financial Strain

The surge in demand for special education evaluations has created backlogs and financial strain on Texas school districts. School psychologists, who are responsible for conducting the evaluations, are in short supply, leading to delays in assessments. To address the shortage, districts have turned to expensive outside contracting firms, paying premium rates for evaluations. However, the increased spending has not been able to keep up with the demand, resulting in thousands of evaluations not being completed within the required timelines. This delay in accessing services can have a significant impact on students with disabilities.

Concerns for Special Education Programs

The challenges faced by Texas schools in meeting the need for special education evaluations have raised concerns about the sustainability of special education programs. The overwhelming number of evaluations required has put a strain on the resources of school districts. Some districts have had to dip into reserves, seek temporary grants, or use leftover COVID-19 funds to cover the costs of evaluations. Without a solution, district officials fear that their special education programs could go bankrupt. The urgency to address this issue is crucial to ensure that students with disabilities receive the necessary support and services.



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