Houston ISD Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra has temporarily withdrawn a proposal to cut spending on busing to the district's beloved magnet schools after failing to get enough support from parents and school trustees.
Saavedra said Monday he would bring a final transportation plan to the school board in the spring, rather than next week as he had intended. The delay, he said, will allow time to look at the magnet program more comprehensively -- reviewing the unequal funding among the schools, the lack of academic standards and inefficient bus routes.
Criticism immediately followed Saavedra's announcement in early November that he wanted to limit transportation to the specialty schools, perhaps by moving bus stops farther from students' homes. During several recent community meetings, parents complained that the proposed changes would trap students in neighborhood schools they don't want to attend.
"We heard over and over, 'You've got to slow things down,' " Saavedra said. "At this point I agree with that. That's what we'll do."
Had Saavedra asked the board to approve a final transportation plan this month, he likely would have lost the vote.
By the way, Saavedra may have back off, but he isn't backing down from a larger discussion of the HISD magnet program. Which means there'll be more drama and controversy on the horizon. Not that this is a bad thing, if the conversation is substantive and productive. Let's just hope this time everyone who feels they have a stake in the outcome also feels like they're being involved in that discussion.Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 06, 2009 to Local politics