Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott has ordered the Houston Independent School District to annex the 7,500-student North Forest ISD effective July 1, 2012.
Scott, who initially proposed the annexation in July, said he based his decision on North Forest’s academic struggles and financial management issues. Scott has assigned Kay Karr, who is now serving as the Commissioner’s appointed conservator in North Forest, to oversee the district’s closure and annexation.
“It will be the role of the conservator to facilitate the annexation process in conjunction with the Houston ISD to ensure a smooth transition and transfer for the district and its students,” Scott wrote in his letter addressed to North Forest ISD officials.
HISD Board President Paula Harris and Superintendent Terry Grier said they are committed to working with North Forest leaders, parents, students, staff, and Ms. Karr to prepare for the upcoming school year.
“While HISD did not seek this annexation, we stand ready to welcome the entire North Forest community into the HISD family,” Harris said. “We believe all children have the ability to excel in the classroom. We will hold ourselves accountable for making sure that happens.”
Working in partnership with the North Forest community, HISD’s first priority will be to improve the level of academic rigor in North Forest’s neighborhood schools, Grier said.
“Strong neighborhood schools are the foundation of strong communities,” Grier said. “The work that is underway in HISD to place a great teacher in every classroom and an effective principal in every school will benefit the children of North Forest, just as it has in HISD.”
By joining the state’s largest school district, North Forest students will be able to take advantage of HISD’s vast school choice options. The application process for students interested in attending more than 100 HISD specialty magnet programs for the 2012-2013 school year just began and continues until the January 6 deadline. For more information about HISD’s magnet programs, click here.
HISD will be announcing North Forest community meetings in the near future.