Genesee County ISD special education funding formula violates state law, judge says

FLINT, MI — The formula used to funnel some special education dollars through the Genesee Intermediate School Distrct to local districts violates state law, an administrative law judge has said.

For Flint schools, this could mean the district will get more special education funding because it has a higher than average percentage of special education students. It also could mean less money for school districts with a high total student count but lower percentage of special education students, like Grand Blanc Community Schools.

As it currently stands, the GISD Mandatory Plan appropriates $3.8 million of Act 18 special education funds back to local districts based on a three-part formula: 1. Total special education headcount 2. Full-time-equivalent (FTE) special education student head count 3. Total FTE headcount. FTE head count is adjusted for part-time student numbers. These three factors are currently equally weighted.

However, Administrative Law Judge Michael St. John in

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Longview ISD offers free financial, education advice through video series

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) – Sometimes it’s not easy to get good advice, especially for free. Well the Longview Independent School District is about to present just that on several topics from finance to continuing education. And the video series is geared toward interested families in or outside of the school district.



a green sign with white text: There may be some parents of students out there who have a great idea as to how to keep everyone safe while learning, or just want to express their concerns. Well, Longview Independent School District is looking for just that kind of feedback.


© Provided by Tyler-Longview KLTV
There may be some parents of students out there who have a great idea as to how to keep everyone safe while learning, or just want to express their concerns. Well, Longview Independent School District is looking for just that kind of feedback.

Longview ISD offers free financial, education advice through video series

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Longview ISD Public Information Officer Francisco Rojas says the idea for LOBOS Strongview originally was going to be a series of meetings to help in-district families struggling with finances.

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That was before COVID-19, but

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Teddy Cops program encourages Katy ISD special needs children

Police officers can be intimidating to special needs children, so Luis Santiago, Katy Independent School District police officer, is changing that, one teddy bear at a time.

In a surprise Teddy Cop visit to a classroom at Wolman Elementary on Thursday, October 8, Santiago presented students with teddy bears that wore blue police uniforms. The Teddy Cop program began in 2015. Since then, Santiago has distributed more than 2,100 bears. He said police uniforms can scare children, and working to get past that fear is important. He took a knee as he handed out the bears and explained that police officers are friends.

“If we can teach them not to be afraid of the person in the uniform, we just made their life easier and made the officer’s life easier because now we’re learning about autism, how to interact with children with autism, how to communicate,” Santiago said.

He explained

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‘Shocking number’ of Mineral Wells ISD students failing online learning, district says

“Several have never logged in or communicated at all in six weeks,” the district said in a letter to parents.

MINERAL WELLS, Texas —

Mineral Wells ISD has announced that students who are failing multiple courses or are unengaged will be required to return to in-person learning on Oct. 19. The district says “many remote learning students have not been successful at all.”

The district hopes that students will be given this time to make better decisions and begin participating appropriately, a letter from the district to parents said.

“Several have never logged in or communicated at all in six weeks,” the letter said. “These students are falling desperately behind and if we do not act quickly, they may never recover.”

The district will contact parents/guardians at the end of the upcoming three-week period if their child has been unsuccessful with remote learning.

The district encourages parents to bring students

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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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In Garland ISD, some families struggle with internet connections for online classes

Something strange is happening with the hot spot that Garland ISD’s Shorehaven Elementary loaned 11-year-old Miranda.

When she connects to Zoom for live classes, the internet signal is turned off. But when Zoom turns off, the Wi-Fi comes back and she can do her homework without any problem, said Karina Cossío, the mother of Miranda and 16-month-old twins.

This case illustrates the difficulties many North Texas families face in connecting to virtual classes.

“We have already asked the teachers and they say that other hot spots are fine, that they don’t know what’s going on. They just tell me: turn it on and off, and we already did it but it doesn’t work,“ Cossío said.

Her voice sounded agitated. The breadwinner of the house, she was leaving home and about to drive to work. Miranda goes with her because otherwise she isn’t able to enter her classes. Cossío isn’t sending

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Katy ISD Education Foundation trivia night to benefit grants for teachers

For an evening of fun and fundraising, join the Katy ISD Education Foundation for its Trivia Night Under the Stars on Thursday, Oct. 29.

The pop-up event hosted by The Oaks at Cane Island will pit teams of four or six against one another, challenging each other in different categories. With a donation to the foundation’s teacher grant program, teams receive a dinner provided by The Oaks Kitchen & Bar, live entertainment from Runaway Rodeo, swag bags, awards and more.

Each team must name their team and is urged to dress in line with the team theme.


The event is for adults only and begins at 6 p.m., with limited seating. All proceeds will go toward the foundation’s Inspiring Imagination teacher grant program.

“The Katy ISD Education Foundation celebrated a spectacular milestone this school year with over $2 million awarded in

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2020 Election: Texas Board of Education, Austin ISD board seats

There are several State Board of Education seats on the ballot, as well as Austin Board of Trustees seats.

AUSTIN, Texas — While the presidential race is at the top of the ticket this November, down the ballot, Central Texans will make decisions that will impact the way children are taught in classrooms.

“You know, in many ways it’s, it’s more important, I think, than even elections at the State or federal level because those are the individuals who are close to home,” said Glenda Ballard, a lifelong educator and the associate vice president of graduate and professional studies at St. Edward’s University. “Those are the individuals who are most nearly going to reflect the values of the area and are going to impact the same decisions that are ultimately made.”

Let’s look at some of what’s on the ballot that directly impacts education in Central Texas. 

There are 15

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Have questions about the challenges of COVID-19? Garland ISD launches ‘Ask a Doctor’ series

Garland ISD has launched a weekly online “Ask a Doctor” session for students and families in the district.

The first sessions were held this week, with a presentation on Wednesday and a webinar on Thursday, in partnership with Hazel Health, a company that works with school districts around the country.

Garland ISD hopes the online sessions will help “children cope with change,” according to the district’s website.

“It’s no secret that adjusting to life in a pandemic isn’t easy, especially for children who are learning to adapt to a new era of education,” the district said.

File photo.

During the sessions, parents can ask questions about health issues and receive answers from Hazel Health’s pediatric team.

Thursday’s webinar included a discussion of how to help children adapt to the changes stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The district added that the parents’ identities remain anonymous, explaining that attendees are unable to see the

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Thinking ahead to December, Abilene ISD opts out of City Sidewalks

COVID-19 has claimed another popular event this year.



a couple of people that are flying in the sky: Assistant Director Tyler Jacks directs the Eagle Band during rehearsal Thursday at Abilene High School Sept. 24, 2020.


© Ronald W. Erdrich/Reporter-News
Assistant Director Tyler Jacks directs the Eagle Band during rehearsal Thursday at Abilene High School Sept. 24, 2020.

Or, well, a significant portion of one.

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Citing a lack of safety from the threatening disease, Abilene ISD officials have decided not to allow student participation in City Sidewalks and other activities surrounding the evening celebration this December.

It’s a Christmas-time experience that has been joyful to me personally since I arrived in 2014. This year, the entire experience may go dark.

While it’s not affiliated with the other two events that night, City Sidewalks has been a real joy to experience, both as a fan of music and the city’s education reporter.

The city’s Parade of Lights, which I’ve participated in twice with Abilene Community Theatre, and the ceremonial Christmas tree lighting, will be without AISD students.

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