The Texas Education Agency's plan to have the Houston school district absorb the chronically troubled North Forest district has been shelved, for now at least.
TEA commissioner Robert Scott informed HISD by letter today that merging with NFISD "is no longer an option," HISD spokesman Jason Spencer says.
Scott "left open the possibility of ordering HISD to annex North Forest in July 2013," Spencer added.
"From the time Commissioner Scott announced his annexation plan last summer, HISD has been clear that while we have not sought this action, we stand ready to abide by any decision he makes," Houston superintendent Terry Grier said. "HISD will continue making the success of all the students we serve the driving force behind every decision we make as a district."
The TEA review says the appointed conservator of NFISD "noted changes for the positive since August 2010."
The commissioner said he would give the district the 2012-13 academic year "to demonstrate confirmed improvements."
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Debbie Ratcliffe of the TEA said:
The commissioner abated the accreditation rating of "Not Accredited - Revoked" for one year due to legal technicalities and the uncertainty of swift preclearance by the U.S. Department of Justice. While North Forest will remain an independent school district and will not be merged with Houston ISD this summer, the abatement requires North Forest to comply with a number of academic and financial requirements, which are spelled out in the order.
Here's the TEA ruling: