Closure is on the horizon for North Forest Independent School District along with its resulting annexation to Houston ISD.
State Education Commissioner Michael Williams announced on Thursday that the Texas Education Agency is continuing the order to close North Forest ISD and annex its campuses into the Houston ISD as of July 1.
Williams said his decision was based on the "continued poor academic performance over the past year as reflected in its low high school completion rate and poor performance on statewide assessments," according to a statement released by the TEA.
The North Forest ISD elected school board can still appeal the decision.
Williams sent a letter to HISD superintendent Terry Grier about how the closure will affect the district.
Almost 6,000 students will be affected by the closure of North Forest ISD. 100 percent of the student population comes from low-income families, with a composition of more than 60 percent African American students and more than 30 percent Hispanic students.
"While we did not seek this action, HISD stands ready to welcome North Forest into our family," said HISD superintendent Terry Grier. "We will immediately begin making plans to make this a smooth transition for North Forest students and their parents. These children can expect to attend schools that challenge them academically and prepare them for success in college and a meaningful career."
"The HISD board of Education is committed to educating every child," said HISD school board president Anna Eastman. "We will work with the commissioner to come up with a plan to ensure the needs of the children and families in North Forest ISD can be met."
North Forest ISD released the following statement about the pending closure on Thursday:
The Board of Trustees and the Superintendent of the North Forest Independent School District are disappointed in the Commissioner's decision not to consider alternative options to his closure recommendation. We were very excited about the prospect of a partnership with Texas A&M University.
The state's decision in no way negates the good work that has been done in NFISD for the past 18 months. As this year progresses, our staff and students will continue to demonstrate confidence in their abilities.
The district will pursue appropriate appeals.
On the Web:
TEA statement regarding NFISD closure -- http://content.foxtvmedia.com/kriv/news/2013/02/02%2007%2013%20nfisd_FINAL.pdf
Letter from TEA to NFISD superintendent and board of trustees president -- http://content.foxtvmedia.com/kriv/news/2013/02/02072013%20Ltr%20to%20NFISD%20closure_annex_Exhibits.pdf