The following schools are now part of the plan to consolidate campuses to close a major budget gap, according to a Houston ISD statement:
N.Q. Henderson Elementary
Port Houston Elementary
Houston Gardens Elementary
M.C. Williams Middle
Initially, Rhoads, Grimes, McDade, and Love elementary schools were the only campuses considered for closure. However, the district added the other elementary schools to its list because they also have fewer than 400 students; the student enrollment for the targeted middle schools is fewer than 500.
State education funding cuts are forcing HISD to slash its budget by as much as $60 million. The district recently reduced its per-student funding by $275 for the 2011-12 school year and says small schools also absorbed an additional $266 per-student reduction in the annual subsidy they receive.
HISD Superintendent Terry Grier told Board of Education trustees on Monday that it needed to assess whether these small schools can continue to provide an adequate education with less money.
"What we're really looking at is not just trying to save dollars, but we're concerned about the quality of education that you can provide in those schools," Dr. Grier said in the statement.
Community meetings at the small schools to gather feedback will be scheduled in the coming weeks.
The district said it will table the board of trustees' vote on Love, Grimes, Rhoads and McDade so they can be considered along with the new list of elementary schools.
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