The politics of public education has just gotten interesting. North Forest Independent District was slated to be indoctrinated into Houston Independent School district, but a strange thing happened on the way to that marriage. Houston Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, stepped in and finally did something for her district.
No doubt, at the urging of Jackson Lee, KIPP Academy, Yes Prep and Harmony schools have reached out to North Forest, offered the troubled district an opportunity to turn things around by teaming with success.
"This will be the first. A partnership with public charters and the North Forest Independent school district standing together," said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.
This first, no doubt will create some tension between Jackson Lee and HISD, a trouble district itself, which was set to reap the rewards of more state and federal funds. They too were included in the lawsuit against the state over education cuts
The Texas 83rd Legislative session has mentioned, more than a few times, expanding the choice system in the state. This will definitely affect public school districts and as such, HISD has to be wondering, if Jackson Lee, or any of the other advocates for this merger had knowledge of the push.
"To see three stellar charter organizations come together and hold hands in Houston is highly significant," said Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education.
That truly is significant, but the question is, will North Forest adhere to the transformation, change from their wicked ways and accept common sense guidance, especially considering the number of chances the district has faced and failed.
"North Forest will be put on the map with this program," said Sylvia Brooks Williams, a North Forest trustee.
Hopefully that works out, but then, all’s not in the bag yet.
‘On behalf of a school board that's agreed to relinquish all control, attorney Chris Tritico will ask Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams to sanction a deal with the charters and give North Forest New life.'
HISD’s Superintendent Terry Grier, hasn’t responded to the merger yet. No doubt, he’s still on the floor with his staff, standing over him, fanning him. When the news of North Forest being forced into the district, Grier envisioned areas where the added funds would serve the most purpose and none included North Forest.