Parents Press HISD For Reform At Special Ed Forum

Apr 8, 2017 by

The school board is expected to select an outside company soon to audit the district’s special ed services.

Laura Isensee –

Parents pushed the Houston Independent School District for more changes to special education services, peppering administrators with questions and venting their frustration at the first of three public forums.

The meeting came about two weeks since HISD’s assistant superintendent for special ed resigned and amid an ongoing federal investigation into a statewide benchmark for special ed.

“How are you proposing to clean house and get what these kids deserve?” asked Sari Altman. “I don’t want to sit here and tell you what I went through with my child, because it’s not really about my child anymore, it’s about every child in this district.”

About 100 parents and advocates attended, where they were served punch and cookies and could also meet one-on-one with administrators to deal with personal, more complicated issues.

In the public forum, other parents asked more questions, including: Why it took so long for their child to be evaluated? What are the criteria for dyslexia tutors? How much did HISD spend on attorneys to settle special education cases? How will their disabled kids be protected from bullying?

HISD trustees and district administrators promised change.

“And we’re going to make sure that we do it right and we’re not going to be about just compliance,” said Grenita Lathan, HISD’s chief academic officer. “So let’s call it what it is. We are going to meet the needs.”

The school board is expected to select an outside company soon to audit the district’s special ed services.

Meanwhile, in Austin lawmakers are considering reforms and in Washington D.C., federal authorities are investigating Texas over concerns districts are denying children special education because of a statewide benchmark.

Source: Parents Press HISD For Reform At Special Ed Forum – Houston Public Media

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