This week, the Texas Commission on Special Education Funding met in Austin for its fourth hearing to receive invited testimony from specialized campuses, including Texas School for the Deaf and Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, rural school districts, and non-profit organizations related to the financial challenges in providing necessary services to our students with special needs.
In addition to naming what are now common complaints about the burden of reading academies and other unfunded mandates, these specialty school leaders spoke of the difficulty in finding these highly specialized teachers (e.g. bilingual in ASL or VI certification). These training programs are limited by funding or closing and the inability to pay the salary necessary to locate in Austin metro where both TSD and TXBVI are located. They also emphasized the need for more and continued funding for capital needs and for their residential programs and outreach operations like Regional Day School Programs for the Deaf (RDSPD) and the TXBVI technical assistance program.