The Hechinger Report teamed up with The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion Ledger to investigate the many ways in which Mississippi fails its special education students. The Clarion Ledger's Emily Le Coz spent months uncovering cases where special education students had been denied basic education rights guaranteed under federal law and instances of seclusion and restraint. The Hechinger Report's Jackie Mader and Sarah Butrymowicz investigated what happened to these students when they left high school. The majority of special education students in Mississippi leave school with an alternative diploma or certificate. Many Mississippi students who should be able to earn a regular diploma are counseled on to the alternative track by 8th grade. Many of those students didn't know that few community colleges, and no four-year universities, will accept students who have earned an alternative diploma or certificate.