Houston ISD proposes to close five schools at end of school year

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Despite rapid growth throughout much of the Houston area, five schools whose neighborhoods aren't seeing population increases are on the chopping block.

HISD officials announced a proposal Wednesday to close Jones High School, Fleming Middle School, and Dodson, Henderson, & Port Houston Elementary schools.

In a statement, district Superintendent Terry Grier said:

"While these types of changes are always difficult, it's important that we constantly evaluate enrollment levels to utilize our facilities to best serve our students."

The district says changes in housing development, continual decreases in student population, and aging populations in neighborhoods once known for young families are factors in wanting to close all or some of the schools.

Gayle Fallon, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, is already thinking about the impact potential closures could have on teachers. She says the teachers will have to search for work at other HISD schools on their own with no guarantee of employment.

"What happens," said Fallon, "is a lot of really good teachers decide HISD isn't worth the effort and they leave."

As part of the proposal, HISD also is considering a boundary change for Billy Reagan because it's exceeded its enrollment capacity. HISD urged parents to attend upcoming community meetings on the following dates:

Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Dodson Elementary at 1808 Sampson Street, 77003
Henderson Elementary at 701 Solo Street, 77020
Jones High School at 7414 Saint Lo Road, 77033

Monday, Feb. 17 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Port Houston Elementary at 1800 McCarty Street
Fleming Middle at 4910 Collingsworth Street

Tuesday, Feb. 18 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Billy Reagan K-8 at 4842 Anderson Road

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