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Grier Backs Off From His Controversial Magnet Changes

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After a marathon meeting of parental dismay with proposed changes to the Houston school district's magnet program last week, superintendent Terry Grier has waved the white flag and postponed any action until next school year.

District spokesman Jason Spencer announced via e-mail that any magnet changes will wait until HISD's budget crisis is addressed.

Dr. Grier has recommended that the Board of Education postpone any major magnet program decisions until after adopting a budget for the 2011-2012 school year. We will continue fine-tuning the preliminary proposal that was unveiled last week and gathering input from all stakeholders with the goal of bringing the issue back before the Board sometime around September.

Dr. Grier believes that the state budget crisis and its potential impact on HISD require everyone's full attention in the months to come.

Spencer didn't say that Grier's magnet plan wanted to spend more time with its family, but it could have.

Grier had proposed a plan to strip 25 schools of their magnet status. Parents packed a meeting to complain about the changes, warning they would bring a "brain drain" from families who would go the private-school route.

Grier "looks forward to continuing this very important discussion on the future of HISD magnet programs after this [budget] crisis is dealt with," Spencer said.

Update: Here's a lengthier, official statement from Grier to parents.

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