HISD No Longer Looking To Kill All Busing To Magnets

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Some HISD parents have been worrying about whether their kids will still be able to get transportation to magnet schools. The high price of gas and the district's strained budget has led to talk about eliminating busing to magnets.

Superintendent Abe Saavedra presented a series of magnet-busing proposals to the school board at a meeting this morning, and complete elimination of the program was indeed on the list, despite earlier denials.

The reaction was pretty frosty. (Kudos to the Houston Chronicle's Ericka Mellon for live-blogging the meeting.)

Apparently stung by the reaction, Saavedra took the elimination option off the table.

But that doesn't mean changes aren't coming.

The district will conduct a series of public hearings in the coming months on changes to the magnet-busing plan. Among the options are, Mellon reports, "eliminating all busing for students outside of 10 miles, making parents of all magnet students drop off their students at hubs for busing, making parents who live outside 10 miles drop off their students at hubs."

HISD spokesman Norm Uhl confirms as much to Hair Balls: "Several options were presented during a board workshop this morning. Community meetings will be held this month to get input and then a recommendation will be made to the board in December," he says.

Saavedra has long made known his preference for spending the district's money on neighborhood schools as opposed to magnets. But the magnet programs are among the best things HISD offers, and parents won't be giving them up without a fight.

And that includes efforts to slowly chip away at the program, apparently.

-- Richard Connelly

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