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Corpus Christi ISD violates education law according to state agency investigation

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Corpus Christi ISD (CCISD) is in violation of federal education law and must take corrective action according to an investigative report completed last week by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

In February, Disability Rights Texas, National Center for Youth Law, Texas Appleseed, and Texas Civil Rights Project filed complaints against two Texas school districts, one with the TEA and another with the U.S. Department of Justice. The complaint filed with TEA against CCISD described how the District discriminates against students with disabilities by relying on truancy court referrals that push students out of school.

TEA’s  investigative report confirmed the allegations against CCISD and included the following findings and corrective actions:

  1. CCISD violated its obligations under federal law to identify and evaluate students with disabilities who were referred for truancy between February 6, 2023, and February 6, 2024. 
  2. For students who were eligible for special education and referred for truancy between February 6, 2023, and February 6, 2024, CCISD did not ensure that the students’ individualized education program (IEP) teams revised their IEPs in accordance with federal law to address attendance/truancy.
  3. TEA required CCISD to review the files of every student who was sent to court for truancy to see if these violations had occurred. 
  4. CCISD must also:
    • Revise its policies and guidelines to bridge gaps between truancy action and IEP teams so that these teams are informed of the concern prior to truancy being filed and can revise students’ IEPs appropriately.

For more information on the specific corrective actions required, see our summary of the findings. TEA did not release the full report to protect student privacy.

“We are pleased to see these findings from TEA and the corrective actions required,” said Olivia Lee, Attorney at Disability Rights Texas. “Though these students have experienced serious setbacks in their education, we are hopeful the school district will implement changes to prevent future harm to other students.”

“These findings require CCISD schools to start providing evaluation and support to students with disabilities, instead of shirking their responsibilities and sending them to a court,” said Dustin Rynders (he/him), Legal Director, Texas Civil Rights Project. “This win is progress and came at just the right time, because my recent observations in the Court show that CCISD is still sending students with disabilities to court without providing any special education intervention.”

“We are encouraged to see TEA order such sweeping corrective actions, and urge the agency to ensure that CCISD carries them out with fidelity so that all students with disabilities are appropriately served rather than being pushed out via truancy court,” said Renuka Rege, Senior Staff Attorney at Texas Appleseed.

“Parents and students should know what CCISD needs to do differently so that they can protect their rights.  No student should be sent to court for truancy, and no parent should risk fines for their child’s truancy, because of CCISD’s failure to provide services and supports,” said Hannah Benton Eidsath, Senior Director at the National Center for Youth Law.  

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Disability Rights Texas is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas established in 1977. Its mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society. 

The National Center for Youth Law centers youth through research, community collaboration, impact litigation, and policy advocacy that fundamentally transforms our nation’s approach to education, health, immigration, foster care, and youth justice. Our vision is a world in which every child thrives and has a full and fair opportunity to achieve the future they envision for themselves. For more information, visit

As one of the most trusted resources for data-driven policy analysis and solutions, Texas Appleseed advocates at the state and local level for fair, just, and equitable laws. Their work has shaped hundreds of laws and positively affected millions of Texans by breaking down barriers through transformative policy solutions. Visit for more information.

The Texas Civil Rights Project is boldly serving the movement for equality and justice in and out of the courts. TCRP uses its tools of litigation and legal advocacy to protect and advance the civil rights of everyone in Texas and partners with communities across the state to serve the rising movement for social justice. It undertakes its work with a vision of a Texas in which all communities can thrive with dignity, justice and without fear.