District plan to consolidate Dodson and Blackshear continues

The HISD Board of Education on Thursday voted to table indefinitely an agenda item to cancel the consolidation of Dodson Elementary with Blackshear, the Rusk School and Lantrip elementary schools. The 5-3 vote comes after much debate on the topic and a move by board members who brought the item back to the agenda late last week. Trustee Paula Harris was absent from the meeting.

“Despite being unpopular and difficult, school consolidations represent opportunities to strengthen schools,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “Tonight’s vote will allow us to continue the work we are doing to ensure that Blackshear is a Montessori-friendly facility that is ready for students in the fall.”

Last month the board voted to repurpose Jones High School into a specialized Futures Academy. Trustees also voted 5 to 4 to close Dodson Elementary.

The Board of Education did not vote on the administration’s proposal to increase funding per-student level by $35 for the upcoming school year. It will appear on next month’s agenda following additional board workshops on the subject.