Education News

School Board Members in Greater Houston Concerned about Early Enrollment Figures

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo raised similar concerns last week and urged families that schools are safe.

HISD Trustee Sergio Lira joined other Latino school leaders at a press conference on Sept. 6, 2018 to urge Hispanic families to enroll their children in school.
HISD Trustee Sergio Lira joined other Latino school leaders at a press conference on Sept. 6, 2018, to urge Hispanic families to enroll their children in school.

School board members from Aldine, Houston and Goose Creek are worried about the same thing: Early figures show a dip in enrollment, especially in predominantly Hispanic communities.

In Aldine, they’re down about 500 students, according to Trustee Viola Garcia.

In the Goose Creek Consolidated School District in Baytown, Trustee Agustin Loredo said that they expected a 2 percent jump in enrollment because business is booming in the surrounding petrochemical industry — but that growth hasn’t appeared.

And in Houston, Trustee Sergio Lira said that some principals have seen enrollment for Hispanic students drop between 3 and 5 percent. He added it’s especially a concern in the southwest part of Houston.

“It’s the fear factor because of the anti-immigrant, zero-tolerance policies that are very prevalent in our country right now,” Lira said.

Other factors, Lira said, could involve families displaced by Harvey and more transfers to charter schools.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo raised similar concerns last week and urged families that schools are safe.

“We just implore the families to come back,” said Garcia, who’s served on the Aldine school board since 1992. 

UPDATE:

The Houston Independent School District said that preliminary numbers this week show a decrease of less than 2 percent in student enrollment compared to enrollment at the end of last school year. What’s more, HISD reports that decrease is shown across several ethnic groups. Administrators plan to have a “Grad Walk” later in September to encourage students who haven’t returned to school to come back to class.

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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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