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Texas says it will appoint conservators to oversee Austin school district

April 3, 2023
The Texas Education Agency says it has found problems with the Austin district's special education department.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) says it will move to appoint conservators to oversee the Austin Independent School District, citing the district’s failings in serving students receiving special education.

The Texas Tribune reports that the TEA has been investigating the Austin district’s special education department and found “systemic issues.”

“The Agency has developed a rigorous plan for AISD to implement so it can return to state and federal compliance and begin appropriately serving students in need of special education services as quickly as possible,” the statement said.

The Austin school board says that conservators selected by the TEA would work with the district to provide special education services to students with disabilities. 

A conservator acts as a manager of a school district, ensuring that the school board and superintendent are taking the necessary steps to solve any issues flagged by the TEA. 

In the final report of its investigation into Austin district, the TEA says Austin failed to evaluate students in need of special education services and to provide those services to eligible students. The district was placed on an improvement plan but did not make significant fixes, the report says.

The TEA's announcement comes two weeks after it said it would replace the Houston Independent School District's superintendent and school board with its a “board of managers” in response to years of poor academic outcomes. 

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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