This year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that 15.4% U.S. children ages 2-8 had a mental, behavioral or developmental disorder and should receive special education. Texas does not agree with that percentage. Since 2004 the state claims that 8.5% of its students should get special education services and the state has taken steps to see that this standard is followed, despite the fact that since 1975 Congress has required public schools in the United States to provide specialized education services to all eligible children with any type of disability.
Since this policy has been in effect the rate of Texas kids receiving special education has plummeted from near the national average of 13 percent to the lowest in the country — by far. If Texas provided services at the same rate as the rest of the U.S., 250,000 more kids would be getting critical services such as therapy, counseling and one-on-one tutoring.