Parents upset over proposed school changes

HOUSTON When Klein ISD proposed its $647 million bond referendum last year, the promise of renovating the aging Klein High School campus pushed parents like Kenneth Kral to campaign for it.

He said, "We went door to door, we printed out vote cards."

The bond passed, just barely, with 52 percent of the votes. And now just one year later, Kral is having regrets.

"I feel like I've been betrayed here," he told Eyewitness News.

Despite clear plans the district had for how to use the bond money, it has recently proposed several possible changes to that plan. Among them is the option of moving Klein High School to a new location and rezoning students. That's a proposal that has left some voters angry and wondering why they're not getting what they were promised.

"The district had no intention to mislead or be disingenuous," explained Klein ISD Spokesperson Trazanna Moreno. "When we proposed the 2008 bond plan that passed, that was the plan at the time."

With property values stagnating and student enrollment slowing drastically, Moreno says the district is in a completely different financial situation than it was just last year. But no final decisions have been made yet and the district is encouraging the public to share its opinions.

Moreno said, "We asked, 'What do you think? Here are some choices. Here are some options. Tell us what you think about it.'"

But some parents already feel the school district has proved itself unreliable and they are moving forward cautiously.

"You don't trust them right now," Kral said.

There are still several scenarios that the district is considering. The superintendent will make a recommendation to the school board in January. That is the earliest we can expect to see any kind of a decision made.

The economy and declining property values has caused several other projects funded by the bond referendum to be put on hold. Two new elementary schools, a new intermediate school, and a pre-K center have been delayed for a year.

One project that is moving ahead is Ulrich Intermediate School on Spring-Cypress Road. It's scheduled to be completed next year. An open field next to the school is the proposed location for the district's fifth high school campus.

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