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Special Education Explained

Navigating special education in Texas is challenging. Our goal is to take the mystery out of how special education is funded and how services are provided in Texas. We focus on topics important to parents and community members. We aim to empower you to understand the complex systems surrounding special education in Texas.

Special Education Funding

Special Education funding is complicated. Many parents believe that federal and state governments provide funding or that special education is entirely funded by the federal government. It is actually the local school districts or charters that are mainly responsible for providing a free appropriate education, or FAPE. Special education services are federally mandated through the Individuals with Disabilities Education (IDEA) and require states to provide children with special education services as a condition of receiving federal funds.

Funding Sources

Learn about the different special education funding sources and about the rules that govern them.

Local Education Funds

Learn more about Local Education Funds and how they are generated for both districts and charter schools.

State Foundation Funds

Find out how state foundation funds are generated and how they can be used to serve students with disabilities.

State Special Education Funds

Discover how State Special Education Funds are generated and how they can be used to serve students with disabilities.

Federal Special Education Funds

Find out how federal special education funds are generated and how they can be used to serve students with disabilities.

Special Education Services

Special education is a range of services and supports available to help a student learn and make progress in school.  Each student’s program is individualized to meet their particular academic and functional needs and to do it with their peers without disabilities as much as possible.  Each student’s program, as documented in the Individualized Education Program (IEP), is planned to provide an opportunity for school completion, a workforce ready future, and increased quality of life.

Special Education Process

Find out what components make up the special education process and how they work together.


Learn what makes up your child’s IEP and how they influence your child’s instructional day and school experience.


Discover what PLAAFP statements are and how they play an integral role in the creation of your student’s IEP.


Discover what Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) means and how it impacts students in special education.