HISD to consolidate some schools

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Consolidation and closure of schools in HISD is nothing new. There are a lot of factors the school board has to consider, including the size of the school and the size of nearby schools. These are all concepts understood by most taxpayers. However, a lot of neighbors we talked to wonder why it has to happen in their neighborhood.

The corner of Jensen and Lyons hasn't changed in nearly 100 years. The church, funeral home and school have all existed side by side. However, an announced closure of Crawford Elementary will change what neighbors thought would be everlasting in Houston's historic 5th ward.

"I've been here all my life," said William Russo with the Sacred Hope Funeral Home. "I grew up here at the funeral home. Really, we don't have a neighborhood anymore. The only thing left is the school, the church, the funeral home and the junkyard. All the people that used to stay around here, they've all been displaced."

Crawford is one of several schools HISD's board of trustees voted last week to either close or consolidate. Students at Crawford will be directed to nearby Sherman Elementary. Atherton Elementary will take in students from Smith Elementary, which will close. So will Dogan Elementary. Lockhart elementary will be renovated, while Turner Elementary will be repurposed. And Hohl Elementary will close. Students there will go to Highland Heights in north Houston.

The Carnegie Vanguard High School on Houston's south side faces a similar future. The school is being considered for closure, with students getting a new campus on shared property at nearby Worthing High School.

"We just are baffled," said Carnegie PTO president Kathy Butler. "The students are baffled. The parents are baffled. The faculty is baffled. We just think that what's fair is fair. A commitment was made and we all worked very hard for this bond."

What is expected to be happening at Worthing and Carnegie is very much up in the air. It is a possibility that is being discussed. Parents at Carnegie will meet this Wednesday at Carnegie with members of the school board to discuss the future of that school.

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