- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Reports of Texas denying special education services in public schools now has House Speaker Joe Straus urging state officials to make immediate changes.

The Republican on Wednesday asked the Texas Education Agency to suspend practices that has made Texas have the lowest rate of students who receive special education in the U.S.

The national average is 13 percent. In Texas, 8.5 percent of children with disabilities receive specialized education services.

The request from the powerful Texas House speaker comes after the Houston Chronicle reported that some schools stopped giving children services in order to comply with a new percentage benchmark set by the state.

Federal education officials have also asked Texas for answers. State education officials have said it doesn’t think any children were denied services.

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