North Forest ISD to merge with Houston ISD

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HOUSTON, TX – School rivalry is part of Texas tradition. But when it’s an entire district against the state, it’s not all fun and games.

The battle goes back to 2006 when the Texas Education Agency deemed eight of eleven of North Forest ISD’s schools academically unacceptable. Now the TEA is annexing the district to Houston ISD this summer.

Attorney for North Forest ISD Chris Tritico said, “Merging us with HISD in an under-performing area just takes 7,000 under-performing kids and spreads out those numbers among 250,000. It doesn’t fix the problem, it just minimizes the problem. We have a fix.”

That fix is a partnership with area charter schools. It’s an idea Tritico says the TEA never gave a chance. He said, “Every time we hit the standard, they change the standard… I think the TEA chose to close this district about four years ago, and every decision they have made since then has been in that vain.”

The district will continue its fight to stay open and appeal the closure order.

Congresswoman Shiela Jackson Lee is prepared to take it all the way to Washington, D.C. She said, “We will find parents and families, and we’ll get representation to fight this as a phenomenon that seems to impact the minority community in a desperate manner.”

But not everyone agrees North Forest should stay open. Charlotte Ross, a mother of a North Forest student, said, “I feel like they need to close. My main reason is for the violence that go on in there, and there’s really never nothin’ done about it.”

North Forest officials hope to get this all resolved in the next six weeks. If not, they can kiss summer vacation goodbye.

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