TFC Calls on Texas House Public Education Committee to Stand Up for Special Needs Students

The Texas Federation for Children today calls on all members of the Texas House Public Education Committee to stand up for special needs students by voting yes on Senate Bill 1716. This bill extends and expands the Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) program which provides families of children with special needs $1,500 grants to purchase services providing additional education support.

The SSES program was created during the COVID-19 pandemic for children that were dramatically cut off from essential therapies and interventions because of school closures. This grant program has been a lifeline to families throughout the state who witnessed years of progress for their child(ren) disappear over the course of just a few months.

Statement from Mandy Drogin, Texas Federation for Children State Director:

“It is shameful that special interest groups like ‘Raise Your Hand Texas’ have chosen to lie about Senate Bill 1716 which will provide a lifeline to special needs students who are still struggling from the effects of the pandemic. False statements claiming this legislation is a voucher to whip votes will harm children throughout the Lone Star State. The Texas Federation for Children is calling on every member of the House Public Education Committee to reject these falsehoods and stand up for special needs students and their families.”

As of today, nearly 12,000 students have submitted applications to utilize these grants for special needs services they have missed over the past year. From those applications, TEA has awarded grants to approximately 7,000 students.

Below are the members of the Texas House Public Education Committee:

Rep. Harold Dutton V (Chairman)
Rep. J.M. Lozano (Vice-Chairman)
Rep. Alma Allen
Rep. Steve Allison
Rep. Keith Bell
Rep. Diego Bernal
Rep. Brad Buckley
Rep. Mary González
Rep. Dan Huberty
Rep. Ken King
Rep. Theresa “Terry” Meza
Rep. James Talarico
Rep. Gary VanDeaver