Residents Encouraged to Speak on Magnet Policies and School Closures

Board of Education to discuss both topics, and budget cuts, on Thursday

March 01, 2011
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education is scheduled to discuss a set of magnet program policy recommendations at a special meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, in the auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18 th Street).

The HISD administration presented the recommendations, which are intended to strengthen Houston’s portfolio of school choice options, to the Board last week. Proposals for the school board’s consideration address three general areas: student application, selection and admission process; magnet program funding; and measures of success and accountability. Click here for more information about the proposals:

Board trustees are also scheduled to discuss policies related to school closures, which may become necessary because of proposed drastic cuts to state education funding that would take effect in the 2011-2012 school year.

School closures are among many options being considered for offsetting what HISD officials expect will be a $170 million shortfall. Administrators have already identified about $50 million in potential budget cuts that, for the most part, do not directly impact classrooms. One of the proposals on the table is to end the practice of giving extra funding to some unique schools. This leaves about $120 million in additional spending cuts that would likely result in teacher layoffs and the elimination of popular programs.

The Board is not scheduled to take any votes on Thursday, and residents are encouraged to speak on any topic listed on the agenda. Those wishing to speak must submit the speaker registration form by noon Thursday.  Forms are also available in the Board Services office at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center. Completed forms may be faxed to 713-556-6115. For additional information on registering to speak, call 713-556-6121.