Education

Will Superintendent Terry Grier Be Willing to Step Aside Early and Let Someone Else Run HISD?




Will Terry Grier get to serve out the rest of his superintendency or will he be moved to another position while an interim superintendent runs the Houston ISD?

That's one of the things that's going to be discussed next Tuesday when the school board meets at 7:30 a.m. Trustee Juliet Stipeche said this afternoon that there are some questions about whether Grier, who faces another round of knee surgery in November (and who's having apparently a tough recovery from the first surgery) would be available to run the district during the time he is out following surgery.

 On Thursday Grier abruptly resigned but pledged to keep working until March 1, 2016, three months before his contract was set to expire.


“You can't have two acting superintendents,” Stipeche said. “So the question is, can Dr. Grier assume a different role?”

Stipeche, chairwoman of the HISD audit committee, said the committee met today with more questions after the meeting earlier this week during which an internal investigation revealed HISDs Constructin and Facility Services Department hasn't been following state law when it awarded construction contracts under the so-called job-order contracting program.

Not only did HISD employees avoid bringing requests for large contracts before the school board for approval – by keeping them under the state-mandated $500,000- threshold – but they can't provide much in the way of line-by-line expenditure explanations.

Stipeche said today that the committee learned that the district used Google Maps to evaluate the cost of renovations of different projects.

The committee also now is asking for a review of not only the 2012 $1.89 billion bond program – that somehow has come up $211 million short according to Grier's administration – but the unfinished projects (Worthingand Waltrip high schools) from the 2007 bond program. They also want to see more data on the North Forest school repairs and the Early Childhood Program.

Come with your calculators everyone. 
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Margaret Downing is the editor-in-chief who oversees the Houston Press newsroom and its online publication. She frequently writes on a wide range of subjects.
Contact: Margaret Downing