Department of Education Wants To Hear From Texas Families About Special Education Access

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By Becky FogelDecember 1, 2016 11:10 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Federal Department of Education officials want to hear from Texas families and students about their access to special education services. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports the two-hour sessions are scheduled to kick-off on December 12:

Texas education officials will join federal authorities for the “listening sessions.” Anyone can comment on the timely identification and evaluation of students with disabilities, and the delivery of services to those eligible.

In September, a Houston Chronicle story alleged special education services were denied to thousands of eligible Texas students in order to save the state tens of millions of dollars. A federal letter to the Texas Education Agency raised concerns. The TEA said it never denied services to eligible students, but also said it would make changes to some policies.

These sessions — hearing directly from those who use services from, or are involved in special education — are a result of the allegations.

The first sessions are set for Richardson and Houston on Monday, Dec. 12, from 6 to 8 p.m.  Other meetings elsewhere in the state take place the Dec. 13 and Dec. 15.

Those other listening sessions include El Paso, Edinburg, and Austin.

Eight Texas medical institutions are teaming up to fight antibiotic resistance. It may not be the most exciting scientific issue, but as Houston Public Media’s Eddie Robinson explains, bacteria’s ability to fend off drugs is a big problem.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that at least 2 million people by so-called superbugs in the U.S. each year leading to 23,000 deaths. Organisms like the Zika Virus have no borders. Dr. Cesar Arias is with the collaborative.

“A multidisciplinary effort is going to involve clinicians in hospitals informing colleagues how to give antibiotics, basic science how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, and also how to discover new and innovative ways to do that,” he says. 

Dr. Arias says researchers from several Texas medical center institutions will work at the bioscience research bioscience collaborative building at Rice University. The group will draw up advice on giving antibiotics as well as help government officials with strategies to curb overuse.

If you’re between 4 and 12 years old, it’s time to break out your lightsaber! The Fort Hood Exchange is offering military children the chance to take official Jedi Training this weekend.

The young padawans won’t just learn how to wield a light saber – they’ll also be trained the ways of the Force, and recieve a certificate proving they’ve completed Jedi training.