Validated by scathing report, HISD special ed advocates question whether state can deliver change

After spending nearly two decades working in Houston ISD and four years fighting to get special education services for her second grade daughter, Nicole Tripp predicted state investigators reviewing the district’s handling of students with disabilities would find extensive issues.

As she expected, the Texas Education Agency released a blistering report late Tuesday that documented numerous violations of special education laws in HISD, findings that mirrored Tripp’s experience as a parent and former employee.

“You’re going to have some factors outside of the district’s control, but I do think that what I saw in HISD, before leaving, was intentional mismanagement that I don’t see in other districts,” said Tripp, who worked in HISD’s special education department from 2000 to 2018, most recently as an assistive technology specialist leader.

The state’s wide-ranging report on Houston ISD’s special education department, the result of an 11-month investigation into Texas’ largest school district, validated

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