North Forest ISD continues fight to stay open

March 18, 2013 3:42:14 PM PDT
It may be the last-ditch effort to save North Forest Independent School District. We told you earlier this month how the district wants to partner with local charter schools to avoid being shut down by the state. Now, we are learning more about that proposal.

North Forest ISD -- at least on the Texas Education Agency's clock -- has been operating on borrowed time. The TEA commissioner ordered the district to be taken over by Houston ISD. North Forest continues to fight that, and its new allies are public charter schools.

"You figure out, like every other district and marketplace, those schools and the pitter-patter of kids' feet determines what you need more of and what you need less of," said Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP Academy.

The North Forest school board endorsed the plan, which was reached with three charter operations -- KIPP, YES Prep and Harmony. A nonprofit group called Philo would oversee the educational operation. Among its board members is former education secretary and HISD superintendent Dr. Rod Paige.

"It's not in opposition to anything. It's a way of seeking new answers to underperforming education," Paige said.

It would be the first partnership of its kind in the country.

Janet Bonner is a Philo board member and a mom whose children attended KIPP.

"That's the most important thing that can come out of this," Bonner said. "Something has got to change and those children absolutely need it."

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