Special education caps hurt Texas students

The Daily Texan Forum page is a place for people who are not on the Texan’s staff to weigh in on the happenings of the university and the surrounding community. Every Monday of this semester, we will run op-eds and opinion pieces from a diverse array of voices across our campus, our city and our state.

This week, we’re discussing a federal report’s confirmation that the Texas Education Agency illegally limited the educational opportunities for special needs students.

Linda Litzinger, Public Policy Specialist for Texas Parent to Parent — an advocacy group devoted to aiding and advocating for mentally and physically disabled Texas children and their parents — criticizes the Texas Education Agency for consistently failing to support the students that they are meant to serve, even after rebuke by federal officials.

Next, we present a piece written by the Texas Center for Disability Studies at UT Austin, in collaboration with Disability Rights Texas. They write that parents and professional advocates must have input in the educational process, in order to ensure students are given the opportunities and services they deserve.

Forum functions as an integral part of The Daily Texan opinion department. By focusing on opinions that come from outside of the newspaper staff, Forum connects the Texan to UT students and the surrounding community. We strive to further the debate on campus by enabling community members with distinct expertise and  experience to speak on issues relevant to the university as a whole.

Throughout the past year, widespread turbulence made discussions about the news even more significant. Last January’s Women’s March kicked off a year of protests against people in power. The Trump administration’s move to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program faced major opposition — opposition that helped fuel Friday’s government shutdown. Texas’ 85th Legislative Session met major public backlash when bills endangered undocumented and transgender Texans. The #MeToo movement gathered momentum as a slew of men in power faced the consequences of sexual harassment and assault, inside and out of the Texas capitol.

Throughout last year, The Daily Texan served as a space for valuable debate on these protests and facilitated further discussion. The editorial board weighed in on University policy and funding, tuition and DACA. Members of the UT and local communities spoke out in Forum about immigration and Confederate statues.

This year, The Daily Texan Forum returns to the opinion pages as a platform for students and non-students alike to continue the conversations that shape our culture
and policies. As always, if you have thoughts on this subject or any others, reach out to us at [email protected]

Nemawarkar is a Plan II and government junior from Austin. Shirvaikar is a math and economics junior from Frisco. Anderson is a Plan II and history sophomore from Houston.