What does it take to get CCISD to pay attention to real problems in its schools? Parents of Special Education students found out the hard way.
Nearly one year ago, parents began trying to get CCISD’s attention regarding how Special Ed students are treated at CCISD schools. According to published reports, while Special Ed students make up only 10% of the total population in CCISD, they comprise 30% of expulsions and suspensions. The District chose to ignore this, and parents had to remind the CCISD Board of Trustees that they were to serve as watchdogs for these children.
Children were being placed in isolation, which is illegal. Rather than actually help these children, CCISD chose to spend over $900,000 in legal fees to avoid actually helping Special Ed children. Parents staged protests outside Board of Trustees meetings. They had to purchase billboard space.
Some “advocates” this Board of Trustees turned out to be. It took that kind of attention for them to do anything. Finally, in November 2018, CCISD conducted a Special Education audit. That’s right; it took nearly six months for CCISD to take action. All the while, Special Ed students were being disproportionately disciplined and placed in isolation.
CCISD might try to gloss over how it has treated Special Ed students, especially after the Gibson report. However, education consulting and research firm Gibson noted 27 areas where CCISD needed to improve. Of note is how the CCISD Board of Trustees, the so-called advocates for children and families in CCISD, punted the responsibility to the administrative level – the very same level that failed these children.
The district plans to implement the recommendations from the Gibson report. However, the question remains: why did it take so long for CCISD to pay attention to its most vulnerable students?