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February 2017
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Advocacy News

Announcing Texans For Special Education Reform
We are excited to be part of a coalition of parents, educators, allies, and disability organizations working together towards special education reform in Texas. We have formed to make a positive change after the series of articles in the Houston Chronicle highlighting the issues facing special education in Texas, including the arbitrary TEA cap that asked schools to keep the number of special education students to 8.5%, which resulted in many students being denied services. Other organizations include Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, Texas Parent to Parent, and Easterseals

There is a
website & Facebook group for Texans for Special Education Reform. Content is still being worked on, but in the meantime we are working to gather parent & stakeholder support statewide as we craft action items and potential legislation. There is currently a petition to ensure the 8.5% cap is removed and action items on pending Texas legislation that will help restore services, improve quality, and change expectations. We ask that you join the Facebook group, sign the petition or both. We also ask that you help by sharing this information statewide with others who have an interest in Texas special education. Thank you!

 
Autism Society of America Advocacy Updates
Our Executive Director, Suzanne Potts, and our Administrative Coordinator, Jacquie Benestante, both serve on the Autism Society of America's Public Policy and Advocacy Committee.  Next week, Jacquie will be attending Autism Society's "Day on the Hill" event in Washington D.C. She will be meeting with staff in Senator Cruz & Senator Cornyn's offices, as well as visiting with some U.S. Representatives from Texas to discuss ACA Reform, Medicaid, and the importance of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).  If you would like to receive the Autism Society of America's advocacy updates, you can sign up here.
 
Visit the Capitol: Make Your Voice Heard!
 
Many of our partners are having their own day to visit the Capitol.  We encourage you to join them and advocate for the needs of individuals with autism. We are also in the process of planning our own "Day at the Capitol" in April, which will be announced soon! 

Legislative Visit Days
 

Get Involved: Information & Upcoming Events

Texas Special Education Continuing Advisory Committee Meeting, 2/15/17
Time of Meeting: 09:30 AM
Location: Region 13 Education Service Center, 5701 Springdale Road, Austin, TX
This is a public meeting, however, the deadline to submit
comments is 5 pm Friday 2/10. (If you receive our advocacy emails, we emailed this information on Thursday).

How can you help?  During the Texas legislative session, we'll be sending out advocacy updates once a month to everyone. However, if you'd like to receive emails about hearings, trainings, or bills affecting the autism community, please join our advocacy email
list. We'll keep you updated on advocacy training, important bills, legislative visits, and needed calls and emails.
Join Us and Make a Difference!
Please Note New Address
Autism Society of Texas • 300 E. Highland Mall
, Suite 205, Austin, TX 78752 
(512) 479-4199 • info@texasautismsociety.org

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