HISD trustees approve $17M bump in special education spending

Houston ISD trustees voted Thursday to approve spending an additional $17 million on special education in 2020-21, money that will pay for contracts with organizations providing services to students with disabilities and hiring more staff.

The multimillion-dollar increase, approved by an 8-0 vote with one trustee abstaining, comes one week after state officials issued a blistering report that leveled numerous criticisms of the district’s special education department. However, Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan gave no indication that her request for more money is a direct response to the investigation, which her administration dismissed as “factually and legally incorrect.”

Lathan said Thursday that the district would use the money to boost several services offered to students, including those with speech, language and hearing disabilities. HISD also would increase the number of intensive intervention teams, a group of staff members dispatched to campuses to provide special education supports.

“We already have the plan

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SMC Supes Approve Grant to Support Special Education Services

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

Supervisor Dave Pine
Supervisor Dave Pine (SMC)

REDWOOD CITY – Tuesday, the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors approved a grant for $30,000 to the IEP Collaborative, Inc. (IEPC) to fund special education rights training workshops, limited special education legal consultation for youth and their families, COVID-19 distance learning program development, translation services, and general organizational support.

IEPC is a nonprofit that empowers and educates families with children with special needs through special education rights trainings and legal consultation and representation. IEPC assists parents and students to engage in advocacy and collaboration to receive a free and appropriate public education consistent with their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and relevant federal and state law.

“Families with kids with special needs often struggle to understand their legal rights and the complex processes required to secure the education that they

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State education officials approve school districts’ plans to eventually resume in-person classes

Maryland education officials have approved plans for all 24 school systems to eventually resume in-person classes, as expectations build at the state level to bring at least some students back to school buildings this fall.

Maryland schools superintendent Karen Salmon told the state board of education Tuesday that all school systems had submitted revised plans to adhere to the criteria for operating during the pandemic. Baltimore City was the only system that submitted a plan that did not need revisions.

With Gov. Larry Hogan’s announcement that the state is entering the third and final stage of his administration’s plan for relaxing restrictions that were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Salmon said it is safe for all schools to reopen.

“Everyone is able to open, and almost all school systems” are beginning to, she said. “We are going to start to see an increase in

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