HISD to Consider Additional School Closures and Consolidations

Vote on whether to close Love, Grimes, Rhoads and McDade elementary schools is on hold

April 19, 2011
UPDATE 04-19-11: Burrus, N. Q. Henderson, and Port Houston elementary schools are no longer being considered for closure for the 2011–2012 school year, and therefore, the town hall meetings that had previously been scheduled for the night of Wednesday, April 20, for those schools are now canceled. The town hall meeting to discuss the possible closure of Stevenson Elementary is still scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the campus.

HISD officials will explore whether to consider closing or consolidating smaller elementary and middle schools in the coming weeks. All elementary schools with fewer than 400 students and all middle schools with fewer than 500 students will be up for consideration, Superintendent of Schools Terry B. Grier said.

The list includes the following elementary schools: Memorial, Paige, N. Q. Henderson, Port Houston, Gordon, Pleasantville, Stevenson, Houston Gardens, Burrus, Rhoads, Grimes, McDade, and Love; and the following middle schools: Ryan, M. C. Williams, Key, and Black. The district will soon schedule community meetings at the small schools to gather feedback in the coming weeks.

Dr. Grier told Board of Education trustees on Monday that the review is necessary to determine whether the small schools can continue to provide an adequate education with less money. Projected state funding cuts forced the Board to reduce the amount of money all schools receive per student by $275 for the 2011-2012 school year. Small schools also absorbed an additional $266-per-student reduction in the annual subsidy they receive.

“What we’re really looking at is not just trying to save dollars, but we’re concerned about the quality of education that you can provide in those schools,” Dr. Grier said.

A previously scheduled vote on whether to close four elementary schools – Love, Grimes, Rhoads and McDade – will be put on hold so they can be considered along with the other small schools.