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A Voice for All

Now, more than ever, the HISD School Board needs voices from parents. We must take care that all our children, including those with special needs, receive a well-rounded education. Far too often teachers are left out of critical decision-making processes that directly impact their students and classrooms.   

An emphasis on high-stakes testing has taken over the public education system, putting an unfair burden on HISD teachers, particularly those working in high need schools. Teaching to the whole child has been lost in the race for "good" or improved STAAR scores. HISD is moving in the right direction by removing STAAR results from teacher evaluations in February 2017, but this policy also needs to encompass principal evaluations to encourage in-depth instruction in classrooms.

Budget cuts to education by the Texas Legislature have severely impacted HISD, and Recapture payments will continue to do so. With our limited funds we need to ensure that tax payer dollars are used efficiently.  Proposed programs should be fully vetted with appropriate studies proving efficacy. As much as possible, we need to be sure that funds are going where they are needed most - into classrooms.

Our schools lack resources to aid educators in inclusion – which is not only a disservice to special education students, but to general education students as well. Kara believes that there should be a voice on the HISD School Board that can truly understand the family experience with special education in both the ARD and IEP process and also has first-hand knowledge of the struggles this causes for the special education student, neuro-typical students in the same class, and teachers. 

As a parent, community organizer and education advocate, Kara believes we can do better for our children and will work tirelessly to be a consistent and compelling voice for ALL communities within HISD. 




Monday, September 25, 2017 12:00 AM

Off the Kuff: Interview with Kara DeRocha

We move now to another district with a retiring Trustee. Mike Lunceford has served District V for two terms, and despite some confusion at the end of last year about his intentions, has decided to call it a career as a member of the HISD Board. Four candidates are vying to succeed him, and I have interviews with three of them. First up is Kara DeRocha. DeRocha is a graduate of of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at LSU and has worked as an environmental consultant and contractor to environmental firms. The mother of three kids at HISD schools, she has been an outspoken advocate on behalf of special education.

Visit Off the Kuff to hear audio!

Saturday, July 22, 2017 12:00 AM

Tensions flare in committee hearing over vouchers

Tempers flared Friday during a Senate committee hearing on school vouchers, and at the heart of the debate is what the bill might mean for students in public schools.

Kara DeRocha is the mother of a 13 year-old special needs student. She said navigating public education hasn’t been easy.


Excerpt from Spectrum News Austin

Friday, July 21, 2017 12:00 AM

Senate panel advances school finance, ‘private school choice’ bills

“Do not use the backs of these very special children as a pawn for your political schemes,” said Kara DeRocha, a Houston resident whose child is in special education.

Excerpt from the Austin-American Statesman

Friday, July 21, 2017 12:00 AM

Texans sound off on hotly contested issues in Austin

Debate on the [school voucher] bill grew tense at times, including in an exchange between Republican Sen. Bob Hall, a fan of the bill, and Kara DeRocha, a trustee [sic] from Houston Independent School District, who has a 13-year-old son diagnosed as emotionally disturbed and is opposed to the legislation.

"It's insulting to me because I spent a lot of time to get to Austin," said DeRocha, who was testifying on a bill for the first time. "It's like he was trying to put his thumb on me."

Excerpt from the Houston Chronicle

Thursday, May 11, 2017 12:00 AM

Vouchers Added to School Finance Bill

The Texas Senate added SB3 (School Vouchers Bill) to SB 21 (School Finance Bill) and it could be voted on by the full Senate as early as Monday, May 15, 2017.  

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