North Forest ISD gets chance to stay open

HISD may annex school district if it doesn't complete many requirements

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HOUSTON - The North Forest Independent School District has gotten a chance to turn around.

The Texas Education Agency ordered in July that the school district be annexed by the Houston Independent School District for the 2012-2013 school year.

On Friday, the TEA abated that decision for one year.

"The Board of Trustees for the North Forest Independent School District is pleased with the decision announced today by the Texas Education Agency to allow NFISD another year to demonstrate it can sustain recent improvements that are already in progress," read a statement from North Forest ISD. "The agency's order says that if NFISD continues its progress, the order to merge it with the Houston School District will be withdrawn. This is a remarkable victory for the students, parents, teachers and the community of North Forest."

North Forest ISD, which had its accreditation revoked, was given several steps to take if it wants the annexation order to be withdrawn. Those steps include making plans to repay $8 million to a bond construction fund and overdue tax payments, achieving an acceptable rating for the 2011-2012 school year, providing a financial audit, implementing curriculum that is aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and creating an effective dropout prevention program.

If all of the requirements of the order are not met, HISD may annex the school district the next year.

"From the time Commissioner Scott announced his annexation plan last summer, HISD has been clear that while we have not sought this action, we stand ready to abide by any decision he makes," Superintendent Terry Grier said.  "HISD will continue making the success of all the students we serve the driving force behind every decision we make as a district."

The North Forest ISD has about 7,500 students.

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