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Alief, Houston School Districts Top List of Clients for Alternative Special Ed Schools

News 88.7 obtained public records and analyzed spending on annual contracts, summer school and other fees.

Last school year, more than three dozen school districts in Greater Houston contracted with the Harris County Department of Education for special ed services, from Galveston to Magnolia.

The biggest client was the Alief Independent School District. It spent over $1 million on seats at one of the county agency’s alternative schools. That’s according to public records obtained by News 88.7. Fees include annual contracts, as well as any monthly overage and summer school.

The Houston Independent School District was the next biggest customer, spending about $940,000, followed by the Fort Bend, Pasadena and Clear Creek school districts. 

The Harris County Department of Education has come under state scrutiny this summer, after a mom complained her son came home bloodied and bruised. State officials maintain they can’t monitor the county agency directly because it’s not a traditional school district, but they held the customer school district, Cy-Fair, responsible for several violations in the case.

 

 

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Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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