Investigation finds Houston ISD intentionally underserved students with disabilities
- Only 7.26% of HISD students are enrolled in special education programs—significantly lower than the national average of 13%—and students of color in particular suffer from under-identification for special education services.
- While HISD officials praise the statistic as an example of the effect of early intervention, an investigation by the Houston Chronicle finds that the low rate was achieved through deliberate discouragement, delay of student evaluation, position elimination, and budget cuts, effectively denying fair education to students in need.
- The decrease in service to students with disabilities came as a result of an arbitrary benchmark (8.5%) for special education enrollment that the Texas Education Agency set unscientifically, but HISD went further to set even lower standards after that goal was met.
“Denied: Houston schools systematically block disabled kids from special ed” (The Houston Chronicle)
“Angry parents in Houston and Dallas turn out at forums, demanding end to special education target” (The Houston Chronicle)
Source: KXAN YouTube
U.S. Feature | Students with Disabilities (Outlas)