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 to 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.
Trustees that voted for the item to be tabled indefinitely were Michael L. Lunceford, Harvin C. Moore, Anna Eastman, second it, Manuel Rodriguez and Greg Meyers.
Trustees that voted against was Wanda Adams, Juliet Stipeche,president and Rhonda Skillhern-Jones.
No vote from Paula Harris.
“Despite being unpopular and difficult, school consolidations represent opportunities to strengthen schools,” said Superintendent Terry Grier.
Community member moaned from their seats as Assata Richards, said aloud, “a day of reckoning is going to come,” before officers approached her to escort her from the meeting. She continued, “You can’t silence the people forever.”
Another school closure has only added fuel to the flame as Jones High School in South Park was repurposed only a month ago.
A bittersweet point is that Blackshear will adopt the Montessori program that Dodson offers but the students that have benefitted from the Montessori program at Dodson will not necessarily have the access at the new school they attend in the fall. That is a another sore note for parents.
Trustees voted 5 to 4 to close Dodson Elementary.