HISD boosts funding to special ed to fuel reform

- After months of hearing how disabled students were systematically shortchanged in the nation's 7th largest school district, Houston ISD Trustees have responded with new resources to reverse the damage.

$2.2 million has been added to HISD'S Special Ed budget to improve the speed and accuracy of evaluations.

The additional money in a tight budget year follows three "listening" sessions where trustees and Superintendent

Richard Carranza heard from frustrated and often angry parents.

HISD Board President Wanda Adams says reversing the damage and repairing lost faith in the District's Special education services has become a top priority.

"In order for us to fix it and gain that trust we had to do something about it. We wanted to see what those missing pieces were. We needed more staff. We needed more parent liaisons to work directly with the parents. We need to make sure that we hire the personnel to make sure that no one can say that they are overwhelmed," said Adams.

The reforms initiated by HISD follow multiple reports that the District was delivering special ed services to only 7 percent of its students which is around half of the national average.

Adams is hopeful the additional funding will prove an effective first step and send parents a positive message signaling change.

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