HISD holds meeting on future of magnet programs

February 5, 2011 6:26:02 PM PST
The Houston Independent School District is facing a money crunch with the state being short of cash. And it could affect the district's magnet schools. Parents Saturday were getting information on the district's possible plans.

HISD paid more than a quarter million dollars for an audit of its magnet school program which has a big following among a lot of parents whose children are enrolled in the programs.

Its specialized curriculum for everything from the arts to science to foreign languages - 116 programs in all -- that the audit report would cut by half. The district has been holding community meetings to allow parents to express their concerns or their own ideas about overhauling the magnet program.

Today at Austin High School, some 75 parents turned out to say find improvements where possible but don't eliminate magnet campuses.

"Most of them believe there's nothing in this report that should be used and that HISD basically needs to start over," said parent Jennifer MacDonough

"It's extraordinarily important that the community makes their interests known and they want to say what they love about the program and that's what the process is right now that we're going through," said HISD board member Juliet Stipeche.

Ultimately it will be up to the school board to accept or reject the audit report recommendations. A vote will take place later this year.