HISD Schedules Special Community Meetings on Proposed School Closures

The Houston ISD Board will vote in a few weeks on whether to shut down four elementary schools. This is part of the district's plan to make up for a 171-million-dollar budget shortfall. A series of community meetings will begin this weekend for parents and others to share their thoughts on the possible closures. David Pitman has more.

The HISD is thinking about closing Grimes, Rhoads, Love, and McDade Elementary schools.

"It's the staff's recommendation that these schools, because they are so small, that they have difficulty providing all the services students need to thrive."

District Spokesman Jason Spencer says the schools are also on the list because other schools nearby can accomodate the nearly 1,500 students who would have to switch.

"That would make it a less traumatic transition for students, where we could close down a school, but kids could still attend a campus that's close to their neighborhood."

Spencer says the closures are meant to save money, so that will mean some job losses.

"Some of these teachers and administrators and support staff, we'll be able to find positions for them.  Others, we might not."

The community meetings to talk about the closures begin this Saturday morning at Rhoads Elementary.  They continue next week at McDade and Love.  And they'll wrap up on the 13th at Grimes Elementary.  Spencer says the board will use the feedback from the meetings to make final decisions on the closures later next month.

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...