HISD superintendent says no school closures despite student enrollment drop

ByKaren Alvarez KTRK logo
Wednesday, November 16, 2022
HISD superintendent says no school closures despite drop in enrollment
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While Superintendent Millard House II didn't see any closures this year amid a 14% enrollment decline over the last six years, he didn't rule it out long-term.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Student enrollment is dropping significantly at Houston Independent School District.

Numbers presented at the most recent school board meeting show on average, every HISD school is serving 73 fewer students now compared to six years ago.

Districtwide, it's a 14% decline in enrollment.

Q: Can we be seeing potential school closures?

"No, I don't think so. I think what's important to understand is anything that has to do with school closures is a last resort. While we're still looking into the details, with reference to the board and informing them of that information, there's strategies that we're taking," Superintendent Millard House II told Eyewitness News on Tuesday.

Q: Do these statistics concern you?

"Of course, anytime you lose a student in a school or the district, it's something we need to pay attention to. And that's why we're working on this fiscal transformation plan to take a close look," House said.

According to ABC13's partners at the Houston Chronicle, HISD will face a $217 million budget deficit within the next two years.

Last Thursday's budget meeting sparked concern among the board of trustees.

"I'm hopeful, sir, that if it gets to that level, that any school closures, if necessary - first of all I'm going to oppose - but if necessary, that it goes across the district. And not just in certain areas, because that's what's happened before," Myrna Guidry, a trustee, said at Thursday's meeting.

And while House tells ABC13 school closures won't happen this year, he can't rule them out long term and he says it's important to get the conversation going early.

"We want to do everything that we can with these conversations to engage staff, families, students and everything we do moving forward," House said.