Magnet school buses keep running - for now

January 6, 2009 4:35:54 PM PST
HISD Superintendent Dr. Abelardo Saavedra has announced that there will be no changes to the magnet transportation system for the 2009-2010 school year. Dr. Saavedra said, "Since the deadline for magnet applications is coming up on January 9, I had hoped to bring a proposal to the board this month to make our costly magnet transportation system more efficient. However, after holding a series of community meetings I have decided to follow the public's advice to hold off on that issue and combine it with our discussions later this spring on establishing magnet school standards and funding formulas."

Superintendent Saavedra also announced that the district will schedule additional public hearings on magnet school issues. Any decision on these issues would require board approval and would not take effect until the 2010-2011 school year.

Dr. Saavedra went on to say that, "Presently there are no formulas for the equitable distribution of Magnet monies to our Magnet schools. That is why some Magnet schools receive little additional monies while other similar programs receive upwards of an additional half million dollars per year. There are also very limited parameters or limitations to Magnet transportation requests. This is one of the reasons that we spend more on transporting students to Magnet programs than we spend on the programs themselves."

The starting point for the public discussion will be the recommendations submitted in 2006 by a PEER review committee made up of parents, staff and community members. HISD commissioned the PEER review of magnet programs and the committee submitted specific recommendations for improvement.

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