Houston ISD considering $17 million increase in special education spending

Houston ISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan is asking the district’s school board Thursday to authorize $17 million in additional spending for special education, a request that comes a week after her administration dismissed a state investigation sharply critical of HISD’s support of students with disabilities.



a woman wearing a hat talking on a cell phone: HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan, pictured in September, is asking district trustees Thursday to approve an additional $17 million in spending on special education. The request comes one week after state investigators sharply criticized HISD’s support of students with disabilities, though Lathan’s administration labeled the findings “factually and legally incorrect.”


© Elizabeth Conley, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan, pictured in September, is asking district trustees Thursday to approve an additional $17 million in spending on special education. The request comes one week after state investigators sharply criticized HISD’s support of students with disabilities, though Lathan’s administration labeled the findings “factually and legally incorrect.”


HISD administrators said they plan to use the money to hire more speech language pathologists, mental health specialists, occupational and physical therapists, and assistive technology specialists, among others.

District officials have offered scant details on the request, other than listing the job titles in a press

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COVID-19 and schools: Advice from Houston educators to parents struggling with helping kids learn from home

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Virtual learning is well underway for many school children across Southeast Texas, and some school districts have returned to in-person instruction, like Fort Bend ISD.

Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre said some students need an in-person learning environment to thrive.

“We have many students [that] need more direct interaction, those kinds of things,” he said.

But many parents, for whom virtual learning is the only option, are struggling to balance their new roles as teachers and technology experts with their already-existing responsibilities.

Kinsey Wall, a mother of two boys who attend a Houston ISD school, said her family is doing their best to support the children, but that it can be challenging.

SEE ALSO: 4 tips to help you manage working from home as kids learn from home

“I’m the tech support for the Wall family,” she said. “If I’m struggling to find things

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Ft. Sam Houston ISD director reflects on virtual learning

Education facilities across the world and right here in San Antonio are facing unique challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s unclear if or when it will come to an end.

The pandemic is unpredictable and some area educators believe there will be lasting, long-term effects on teaching.

Dr. Roland Rios, director of technology with Ft. Sam Houston ISD, joined Leading SA Sunday morning to discuss his district’s current situation.

“Because we’re at Fort Sam Houston, all of our students are military dependents. So not only are they dealing with this pandemic, but many of them are [from] New York City. They’ve moved here over the summer. They haven’t had the chance to experience San Antonio in all its glory with everything closed… Add to that the mix of online learning with in-person instruction. We’ve got quite a challenge facing us right now,” Dr. Rios said.

Ft. Sam Houston

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Houston philanthropist Marvy Finger believes in technical education

Not every path to higher education involves a four-year college degree.

Marvy Finger, president and CEO of the Finger Companies, one of Houston’s leading independent developer of luxury multifamily properties, realized the value that CTE programs — career and technical education — could mean to Houston high school students. In 2013, he created the Marvy Finger Family Foundation Scholarship program, offering Houston ISD students fully funded, two-year vocational and technical education programs at Houston Community College, Lone Star College and San Jacinto College. Now in its seventh year, the foundation has awarded 284 scholarships, setting students on careers in fields such as welding, automotive repair, health science, construction management and maritime logistics.

The program has grown each year since 2013, when eight students were funded, to this year’s class of about 80 students entering technical education, learning skills from a two-year associate degrees or Level 2 certifications. The scholarships cover

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Houston Health Department’s COVID-19 antibody testing survey

The Houston Health Department announced a testing survey to understand how many people in the city were previously infected with the coronavirus.

HOUSTON — The Houston Health Department on Wednesday announced a COVID-19 antibody testing survey to better understand the spread of the virus in the city.

The survey, in collaboration with the CDC, Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine, will identify people previously infected with COVID-19 by the presence of antibodies, proteins the body’s immune system makes to fight infections. Antibody testing does not replace oral or nasal swab viral testing that looks for current COVID-19 infection.

Dr. David Persse, Houston Health Authority, said teams of HHD employees and and Houston Fire Department paramedics will visit randomly selected homes across the city. These teams will ask household members to answer survey questions and provide a blood sample.

Phase 1 is set to take place Sept. 8 to Sept.

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