Who is HCDE

WHO IS HCDE - One source for all learners

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What is Harris County Department of Education?

Harris County Department of Education helps school districts in the state’s largest county meet the needs of uniquely challenged learners, directly serving students at their schools or one of four HCDE-operated campuses across the county.

For two consecutive years, HCDE has reduced its tax rate below the effective tax rate and now collects approximately one-half of one penny – about $10 a year for the average homeowner. This provides operational efficiencies for the 25 area school districts in Harris County at a lower cost to taxpayers than it would cost if the districts provided the services separately.


How do school districts benefit from HCDE?

School districts in Harris County can serve student populations needing special education in Houston with quality instructors and therapists from HCDE at a reduced cost. 

  • School-Based Therapy Services - Students with special learning accommodations are helped by our 160 occupational therapy, physical therapy and music therapy specialists, who serve more than 7,000 students annually at their home campuses, providing more than 50 percent of special education therapy services in our 25 Harris County school districts.

HCDE serves over 800 students in HCDE-operated specialized schools -- Academic and Behavior Schools (East and West campuses) and Highpoint Schools (North and East campuses).

  • Academic and Behavior Schools - Two schools support students with profound special education needs or at-risk behaviors, such as autism, mental retardation and Down syndrome. These campuses are equipped with specialized support programs and a low teacher student ratio of two teachers for every six students.
  • Highpoint Schools - Two schools offer adjudicated or expelled youth in grades 6-12 a safe and highly-structured learning environment. The Highpoint Schools prepare students to return to their home school district and ultimately graduate with their classmates.

Students of all ages throughout Harris County are helped by our five main areas of service.

In addition to serving students with special education needs, HCDE operates


Other services provided to districts/public:

Professional development for educators

Educator certification/test preparation

Purchasing cooperative

Business support services

School safety

Records management


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