Parents, Community Members Take Concerns About School Closures To Board

The proposal to close down five schools here in Houston continues to draw opposition from community members. Before the HISD board meeting last night, parents and students held signs and chanted in protest.

Next month the Houston school board will decide the fate of five schools that have low enrollment.

In what is likely a preview of that meeting, more than a dozen people asked the trustees to save the schools.

Richard Farias advocated for Port Houston Elementary on the east side of the city.

“Port Houston has always been a small and very poor neighborhood. It has always been plagued with the constant roar of 18 wheelers. It is a neighborhood with one way in and one way out and has always been surrounded by industrial businesses.”

Farias says despite that poverty and industry, the school has distinguished itself academically.

Some trustees like Rhonda Skillern-Jones have already said they’re against the closures.

“I think very child deserves a neighborhood school and if they are under-enrolled, then I think it is our obligation when the enrollment starts to slip, before it becomes a problem, to see what the causes are and to fix it.”

Another trustee Manny Rodriguez says he hasn’t made up his mind. He first wants to visit Port Houston Elementary next week. It’s slated to merge with Pleasantville a mile east.

“I will be at the meeting on Monday to see what’s community’s going on. I am familiar with the area but I need to double check the access into Pleasantville and just go over some of the points of discussion before I make my decision.”

Trustees will have to make their final decision in March.

 

Related Stories:

Houston Parents, Alumni Oppose Closing Jones High School

Houston School District Wants To Close Five Schools

Houston School Board Approves Consolidation Plan for Ryan Middle School

Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...