HISD will not change start times at schools after receiving feedback from the community


For so many parents, a successful school year for their children is based on routine, and the fact that HISD wanted to up that routine really concerned them.

As a working mom, Krystal Jordan already has her schedule planned down to the minute.

"One who has to be on the bus for 7-something in the morning, you have one who is carpooling, you have one that I take to school and I have another one who rides the bus for 7:30," Jordan said.

So the last thing she wanted was for the start times of schools, including her third grader at Travis Elementary School, to change.

"I've already had to change my time to go to work, so I can get my children off to school," said Jordan.

But that's exactly what HISD Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier had proposed. He wanted the district's elementary, middle, and high schools to have uniform start times. The schedule would have added 19 minutes to the average school day, saving the cash-strapped district $1.2 million.

But after 11 town hall meetings and lots of community feedback, Dr. Grier on Thursday said he changed his mind.

"We were getting so much push back from our parents and principals, and we thought we needed more time to study it and give it some more careful consideration," said Dr. Grier.

Parents across the board were relieved.

"I didn't want it to be any later," said one parent.

The superintendent says the issue isn't dead, just pushed back. Dr. Grier says the district will study the issue more in depth and bring it back perhaps next year. But moms like Jordan say they're not budging.

"It poses a big inconvenience, but right now this is much better and I'm glad that that's not changing," she said.

HISD also unveiled its budget proposal Thursday for the upcoming school year. The district points out two things: there is no tax increase in the proposal, and it includes the first pay raise in two years for most employees.

The budget proposal does mention an area of potential savings of $1.6 million in non-campus departmental cuts, primarily through eliminating positions and layoffs. That means more job cuts could be coming for the district, with its non-campus positions.

The board will adopt a budget in June.

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