Grier: Magnet Schools Safe Until At Least 2013

Houston’s magnet school programs won’t likely see any big changes this school year or even next as the district chief and board members take a step back for a closer look at the issue. As Jack Williams reports, the announcement signals a more cautious approach by HISD after an outcry from parents and students.


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Superintendent Terry Grier, in a letter that adds to his comments over the weekend, says he’ll recommend no action be taken on magnet campuses this school year or next and that any major retooling not take place until the 2012-2013 school year.

He says he’s recommending magnet programs see no change in funding this year or next. The district’s Jason Spencer says that doesn’t mean the issue is dead.  

“In the fall, we’re going to put it back on the table and see where the board wants to go with it. Ultimately, any changes that happen with the magnet program will be up to the board. We know that they’re committed to ratcheting up the level of rigor at all of our schools and making sure that every student has access to a quality, rigorous, academically challenging program and that access to those programs needs to be equitable.”  

Grier had proposed closing 25 magnet campuses, opening 13 new ones and converting other campuses. Parents and students at those schools weren’t happy about the proposed changes and let the district know about it. Grier says a more pressing issue, how to operated with fewer state dollars, will be the district’s immediate priority.  

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