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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