HOUSTON - In a narrow vote of 5 to 4, Houston Independent School District board members voted against the privatization of four low-performing schools in the district.
The vote didn't go without over an hour of passionate discussion by both board members and parents in attendance.
"What all this does is open up the possibility for us to see what’s out there who would be willing to submit an application," Anne Sung, an HISD board member, said.
"I do not believe in privatization, so I will be voting against this," Jolanda Jones, another HISD board member explained.
At times during the meeting, a large group formed against privatization — even turning their backs in opposition to the idea.
"When you help the children, the schools will improve," Carla Brown, a concerned citizen said.
"Somebody got their priorities messed up but when you look at your tax bill it says Houston Independent School District not Houston Independent School District and friends," said Travis McGee, another concerned citizen.
Following the vote, celebratory cheering could be heard just outside the boardroom by those against privatizing.
"I’m so incredibly grateful right now that our children get another chance at success because we almost lost for scores tonight," Kandice Webber, a concerned citizen said.
Now, the pressure is back on the district to get the low-performing schools turned around to avoid any possible state intervention down the line.
"As a board, it is irresponsible to give away our students unless we have a fully exhausted our options," explained HISD board member Elizabeth Santos.
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