Austin ISD Is Sued Over Backlog Of Special Education Evaluations

More than 800 students whose families have requested special education evaluations are waiting for those assessments.

By Claire McInerny. Texas Standard segment produced by Alexandra HartMarch 31, 2021 9:35 am, , ,

From KUT:

Lee esta historia en español. 

An advocacy group for people with disabilities filed a lawsuit Monday claiming the Austin Independent School District is “failing thousands of students” by not evaluating them for special education within a specific amount of time.

KUT reported earlier this month that 800 students were waiting to get evaluated for special education. These eval

Some AISD families have been waiting for more than a year to get their children evaluated. In its lawsuit, Disability Rights Texas says “these delays are in direct violation of the timelines established by federal and state law.”

One reason for the backlog is a shortage of qualified employees to do the evaluations. Many licensed specialists in school psychology, or LSSPs, have left the district, claiming a hostile work environment and that they were overworked.

Dustin Rynders, an attorney for Disability Rights Texas, said the complaint outlines ways AISD can improve this problem.

“Austin is a popular place to live,” he said. “People care about the kids of Austin ISD. If you turn around that department, there’s every reason to believe there are people who would want to serve that community.”

The lawsuit is seeking compensatory services for five children who missed out on services because of the backlog. Rynders said his group is also working to make sure hundreds of other students are also granted services.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and Thanks for donating today.