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Report: Austin ISD not meeting minimum state standards for disabled students

According to the report, there are nearly 10,000 disabled students enrolled in the Austin school district, or 13.3% of the total student population.

AUSTIN, Texas — A new report found that Austin ISD (AISD) has not met minimum Texas exam standards for disabled students in four years.

The report, done by consulting firm Stetson and Associates, was ordered by the school district and completed in March. It was presented to the school board on Tuesday night during a special session.

The report included the results of surveys with parents, administrators, staff, classroom observations and comparisons of the Austin school district to the state and other comparable districts.  

According to the report, there are nearly 10,000 disabled students enrolled in the Austin school district or 13.3% of the total student population.

RELATED: Due to teacher shortage, some urge Texas to cancel STAAR testing this year

The report shared an overview of data from the Texas Education Agency concerning the district's special education program. It found that AISD scores on the STAAR test for students with disabilities in grades three through eight were below the state standard in all areas in 2017-2019 and 2021. The exam was canceled in 2020.

In other areas, the report found that the student-to-special education teacher ratio for the district was lower than the state and regional ratios. It was also lower than five of the six comparison districts. However, the district spending on students with disabilities is higher than the state and all six comparison districts combined. 

Per the report, the AISD graduation rate for students with disabilities is above both the state, Region 13 and all comparable districts. 

In regard to salary, the report found that teacher salaries for AISD are the lowest among the comparison districts and the highest for educational aids.

The report took an in-depth look at leadership in regard to special education, student instruction, staffing and capacity building. Read the full 90-page report online here.

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