Education News

Despite Leadership Changes, Furr High to Keep $10 Million Grant

“At the end of the day, it has to be always what is in the best interest of those students and students first.”

 

Students work on bridges at Furr High School, September 18, 2014.
Students work on bridges at Furr High School, September 18, 2014.

The nonprofit that awarded Furr High School a $10 million grant last year to become a so-called “super school” has confirmed that the grant won’t change, even if the school’s longtime principal Bertie Simmons has been suspended.

Russlynn Ali with the X-Q Institute spoke about the controversy at a conference this week. She said leadership changes are part of running a school.

 

But at the end of the day, it has to be always what is in the best interest of those students and students first,” she said.

Ali complimented Houston’s superintendent and the teamwork that went into Furr’s plan to reinvent high school. It competed with several hundred other schools to be one of the few winners.

“Every adult that was a member of that team put adult interests aside to do and imagine and dream and do what was right for the young people of that community,” Ali said.

She added that as long as that continues, Furr’s grant will stay in place, regardless of who’s in charge on campus.

The principal Simmons, however, is trying to get her job back. She’s lodged federal civil rights complaints and is involved in a lawsuit against the district. Houston administrators have expanded their probe to look at grade changes, scheduling issues and spending under her tenure.

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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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