HISD Takes a Breather From the Bad, Sad News; Gets $2.5 Million

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

It was a moment so auspicious that it was deemed worthy of a hurry-up press conference at noon Monday. And why not -- a $2.5 million donation from Chase Bank to the Houston ISD's Apollo program is the best news Superintendent Terry Grier and his troops have had in a while.

Thanks to the largest donation since Grier started fund-raising efforts for the pilot project, the total contributions almost doubled in size to nearly $5 million.

It was an exceedingly bright spot in what's been an otherwise relentlessly dreary round of one education cutback after another given the state's shaky finances. Although HISD has already pronounced itself ready to say goodbye to 1,912 employees and four elementary schools, that still probably won't be enough as it still seeks to make additional millions of dollars in cuts.

Even as Apollo expands into 11 more schools next year, signs of belt-tightening are there -- the elementaries won't have the longer school day and school year that have been thought so crucial to the middle and high schools in the program.

The announcement was made at one of the Apollo schools, Key Middle School, which historically has been known more for testing irregularities than a bastion of educational progress. But there was nothing but blue sky talk Monday.

"Improving the quality of our local schools has huge implications for Houston's future," said Gina Luna, Chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase in Houston. "J.P. Morgan and Chase believe the cities and states that do the best job of educating all of our children will lead this nation in economic growth and quality of life."

And board president Paula Harris, called Chase's donation "a smart investment in Houston's future."

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.