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Special Education in Texas- Information for Parents and Students

This article tells you about the law that guarantees every eligible student a "free appropriate public education." This article was written by Disability Rights Texas - Main Office. 

Being Involved In Your Child's Education

In order to become an equal partner in planning your child's educational program, you need to know about the laws, rules, and regulations that affect special education for children with disabilities.

For example the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that guarantees every eligible student a "free appropriate public education," IDEA's says that a school must:

  • Find and identify students who have a disability.
  • Involve parents in the decision making
  • Evaluate (test) students in a nondiscriminatory way.
  • Develop an individual education program (IEP) for each eligible student that includes measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals designed to enable the child to be involved and make progress in the general education curriculum.
  • Provide special instruction, related services and supplementary aids and services based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable.
  • Provide services in the least restrictive environment
  • Main education records/files
  • Provide processes for resolving parent complaints and grievances.

This manual from disabilityrightstx.org provides PARENTS and STUDENTS free, reliable and accurate informationon your rights in the school system.


This manual is designed to help you become familiar with the requirements of IDEA and Texas law so you can act as an equal partner in planning your child’s education.

You will learn, by using this manual and by working with school staff, how to plan an educational program that will lead to an independent and productive life for your child and yourself.

The IDEA Manual is based upon laws and policies in place at the time it was written. Laws and policies change frequently and are subject to various interpretations. Future changes in laws and policies may make some information in this manual outdated. This manual is not intended to and does not replace an attorney’s advice or assistance based on your particular situation.

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