A Missouri City family is set to participate in a state due process hearing on Wednesday. They have made claims that Fort Bend ISD is refusing to provide special education services to their child. Larry George reported that his child, who has a learning disability and requires special education services, has been enrolled in the district for approximately seven years.
According to George, he has a reading comprehension disability. “He is able to receive support in a general education setting through the use of accommodations.” George has made extensive efforts beyond the classroom to ensure his child’s academic success.
“He has had a tutor who has been supporting him since second grade, and now that he is a freshman, he still has the same tutor,” he stated. George claims that Fort Bend ISD is failing to fulfill its responsibilities.
“There have been multiple instances where the IEP was not implemented,” he stated. “The district did not provide the support.”
Education experts have highlighted the significance of an IEP, which stands for “Individualized Education Program,” as the foundation of special education. The Texas Education Agency has reported that the services offered can vary in a multitude of ways. “From modifications in the general education classroom to self-contained classrooms at the far end of the spectrum, Justin Porter from the TEA explained,”
According to George, Fort Bend ISD has failed to implement the agreed-upon Individualized Education Program (IEP) between the school and the student’s parents. George expressed his efforts in working closely with the district to address and resolve the issue.
According to George, he has exhausted all efforts to address the issue. He personally approached the TEA, who supported his cause and implemented a corrective action plan for the district. However, George claims that despite these measures, no significant improvements have been made. George eventually reached out to Karen Mayer Cunningham, a special needs advocate, for assistance.
Cunningham stated that every complaint filed by Mr. George without their involvement has been substantiated as valid. Cunningham has experience working with school districts on special education services and finds resolving this issue more challenging than expected. “We are requesting the implementation of the IEP as agreed upon in the meetings, but they refuse to comply,” Cunningham stated.
Fort Bend ISD officials declined to comment publicly on the case in order to safeguard and honor the student’s privacy. However, it has come to our attention that the George family is not the only one facing a similar situation here in Texas.
According to David DeMatthews, an associate professor of education at the University of Texas at Austin, the experiences of about 25 parents across the state who have children with disabilities were far from positive. DeMatthews conducted interviews to gain insights into their navigation process, and the overwhelming majority reported negative experiences.
According to DeMatthews, the issue of insufficient special education services has persisted for a number of years. In a startling revelation, the Department of Education uncovered a grave violation of federal law in the state during the year 2018.
DeMatthews criticized the state for neglecting its monitoring duties and not ensuring that every child in Texas is properly identified if they have a qualifying disability and given a free and suitable public education.
Amid ongoing challenges in the field of education, George is earnestly hoping for resolutions to his family’s predicaments. The individual expressed their fatigue. “There is a desire for change in Fort Bend ISD.” A federal investigation has been opened by the Office of Civil Rights on Disability Retaliation and Race, in addition to the hearing scheduled for Wednesday.