Education News

HISD Trustees To Meet With State Officials, Vow To Avoid School Closures

HISD is the largest of more than 40 districts in Texas at risk of having their elected school boards replaced with outside managers.

HISD Board President Wanda Adams and Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones said that they will not close schools despite the risk of a state takeover.
HISD Board President Wanda Adams and Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones said that they will not close schools despite the risk of a state takeover.

State officials are heading to HISD headquarters Thursday to discuss plans to improve the district’s chronically failing schools – or face a state take-over of the board.

As News 88.7 first reported this week, the Houston Independent School District is at risk of a state take-over as soon as next year.

Two HISD trustees responded to the news at a press conference Wednesday, saying that they’re confident that won’t happen and vowed to avoid state-mandated school closures.

HISD Board President Wanda Adams said that the board will meet with state officials behind closed doors because they will discuss personnel issues.

“So we can know what our next steps are and what we can do. But our goal, my goal is that no schools be closed and there will be no board of managers. I think that we can do it together as Team HISD,” Adams said.

Under the state law known as House Bill 1842, the Texas Education Commissioner can either shutter struggling schools, or bring in outside managers, if a district has even one campus that has failed state standards for five or more years.

HISD has to improve more than a dozen schools that have chronically failed to meet state standards by 2018 or face those consequences. Overall, HISD has more than 280 schools.

Adams said that they expect the number to drop to less than ten when the state releases the new 2017 ratings next week.

We’re looking at the glass half-full,” she said. “And with the half-full, I know that we can meet (the standards). We have some hard working teachers, some hard-working principals — and we’ve done the work to be able to achieve and close the gaps like we’ve been closing.”

HISD is the largest of more than 40 districts in Texas at risk of having their elected school boards replaced with outside managers.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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