Texas coalition requests additional support for children who have been impacted by the pandemic

Letter was sent to Governor Abbott Thursday

TEXAS – On Thursday, April 15, a Texas coalition sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott requesting the state use some of the $18 billion in federal education funds it is set to receive to further support and expand eligibility for the Supplemental Special Education Services (SSES) program. This coalition is committed to enhancing school choice for students.

Families with special needs children at provided $1,500 grants through this program to purchase services to help get extra support for children dramatically and painfully impacted by school closures due to the pandemic. Signers of this letter include Texas Federation for Children, Texas Public Policy Foundation, ExcelinEd Action, the Miles Foundation and Families Empowered.

“With the influx of $18 billion in federal education funds coming into our state, we are asking you to further fund the existing SSES program and expand eligibility so those with special needs can obtain the supplemental educational options they need to be successful,” reads the letter. “The global pandemic further exposed the serious challenges confronting families of students with special needs and the imperative of providing the fullest range of educational options and continuity of care for their children. By using some of these federal dollars to expand this program, Texas families can get the help they need to get their children back to a place of healthy progress and success.”

Nearly 12,000 students, as of today, have submitted applications to use these grants for special needs services they have missed over the past year. From the applications submitted, the Texas Education Agency has awarded grants to about 7,000 students. Even though thousands of Texas families are grateful for the needed assistance, there are still thousands more struggling and waiting for the help they need from an expanded SSES program.

To read the full letter, click here.