In the latest trip on a seesaw of decisions, the state's commissioner of education has ordered the chronically underachieving North Forest school district to merge into the Houston school district.
Texas Education Agency head Michael Williams said the state will proceed with a previous order to close NFISD and have it annexed by HISD. In a letter to HISD superintendent Terry Grier, the TEA said because of the Houston's district size (more than 200,000 students), it could absorb the much smaller 6,000-student North Forest district without too much difficulty.
In a press release, Williams noted NFISD's long record of poor performance.
"The decision to close a school district is a tough decision for all involved but we can no longer be tolerant of chronic underperformance," said Commissioner Williams. "My recommendation is based on the district's poor performance over the past year, which is reflective of a familiar pattern of failing to meet student needs over decades."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"While we did not seek this action, HISD stands ready to welcome North Forest into our family," Grier said. "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 NFISD can appeal the decision.