By WILL WEISSERT
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education says Texas for years violated federal law by denying students with disabilities access to proper public education.
Thursday's announcement comes after an investigation in which agency officials visited Texas and determined that the state put an illegal cap on the number of youngsters receiving special education services.
U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement, "Far too many students in Texas had been precluded from receiving supports and services" mandated by federal law.
Gov. Greg Abbott immediately ordered a special education overhaul, giving the Texas Education Agency a week to produce a draft corrective plan.
The federal investigation followed 2016 Houston Chronicle reporting that Texas, in 2004, quietly instituted an arbitrary, 8.5-percent enrollment cap on the number of students eligible for special education instruction.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.