TEA delivers blistering report on HISD’s special education program, recommends state oversight

The Texas Education Agency released a scathing report on HISD’s special education program Tuesday following a lengthy investigation by its Special Investigations Unit.

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Investigators found HISD has violated special education requirements and “the noncompliance is significant, systemic and widespread.”

The 88-page report cites the “historical failure of the Houston Independent School District to fulfill its obligations to provide appropriate — and legally required — specialized services to its students with disabilities.”

State investigators accuse HISD of failing its disabled students for at least a decade and all but ignoring previous reports demanding change. 

“Perhaps more troubling than these historical findings concerns the district’s lack of serious initiative, rather yet success, in attempting to take corrective action to reform its systems,” the report said.

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TEA finds major failures in HISD’s special ed department, recommends state oversight

Houston ISD continues to violate state and federal laws designed to ensure students with disabilities receive needed supports, warranting the appointment of a state conservator with the power to oversee and direct changes in the district, Texas Education Agency officials concluded Tuesday following an 11-month investigation.

In a much-anticipated 44-page report, TEA investigators said the state’s largest school district has failed to fix “significant, systemic and widespread” issues in the delivery of special education services despite multiple reports of shortcomings over the past decade. The investigators recommended Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath appoint a conservator to ensure necessary changes are made, but Morath has not yet announced what actions he will take.

State officials concluded HISD failed to identify all students entitled to special education services, did not provide legally-entitled supports and lacked structures for holding staff members accountable for their performance. The errors came despite warnings in 2011 and

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