Last week, I noted that a parents group and some HISD trustees were complaining about there not being a vote on three school construction projects that were promised as part of the 2007 bond referendum. Even though we now have a new Superintendent in tow, which was supposedly the holdup on these items, they’re still not getting any action.
Parents trying to get facilities upgrades at several Houston ISD campuses said Monday that Board President Larry Marshall has once again thwarted efforts to bring the matter to a vote this week.
Saying she is in a “complete state of shock” after the posting of the board’s workshop schedule for Thursday morning, which contains only three of seven schools, education activist Mary Nesbitt is calling on parents and others to come to the workshop to get the board to honor commitments by Supterintendent Abe Saavedra to correct facilities deficits at Bellaire High School, Grady Middle School, Sam Houston High and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
Nesbitt called Marshall’s actions “completely unprecedented and without regard for the wishes of the other board members who made a formal request to put forward the package of seven schools.”
Nesbit sent out another message to the Facebook group HISD Parent Visionaries about this, which I’ve reproduced beneath the fold. Trustee Harvin Moore said on Twitter that this was “The most bizarre power play I have witnessed in six years on the HISD board”. The workshop will be held at 7:30 a.m. Thursday in the Board Services Conference Room at district headquarters, 4400 W. 18th St., and I daresay it will be contentious. Be there if you can.
Larry Marshall has stripped Bellaire High School, Grady Middle School, Sam Houston, and HSPVA from the facilities package and put the three remaining schools on the agenda for a vote this Thursday – all on his own. His actions are completely unprecedented and without regard for the wishes of the other board members who made a formal request to put forward the package of 7 schools.
It is imperative that parents attend the meeting this Thursday morning. Parents may also speak before the board on any of these agenda items listed below. The actions taken by Mr. Marshall completely undermine the ability of any incoming superintendent – namely Dr. Grier, to make commitments or provide assurances to any community going forward. It also fundamentally undermines the professional recommendations of Dick Lindsey or the professional staff of HISD. It is also clear that Mr. Marshall can individually disregard board policy or precedent and do what he chooses.
I ask you to join us this Thursday and speak on behalf of the 4,000 plus students that will be stuck in inadequate, overcrowded, unsuitable classrooms.
AUGUST 27, 2009 — 7:30 A.M.
CALL TO ORDER
FEDERAL MID-YEAR LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
WORKSHOP ON DELOITTE CLASSIFICATION AND COMPENSATION STUDY
APPROVAL OF INCREASE IN BUDGET AND DESIGN ALLOWANCE FOR REPLACEMENT OF LUCIAN L. LOCKHART ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOR THE LOCKHART/TURNER CONSOLIDATION
APPROVAL OF BUDGET INCREASE, DESIGN CONTRACT, DELIVERY METHOD, AND MANAGEMENT FOR PARTIAL REPLACEMENT AND RENOVATION OF EVAN E. WORTHING HIGH SCHOOL
APPROVAL OF A BUDGET FOR RENOVATION OF THE BELLFORT CAMPUS FOR AN EARLY CHILDHOOD CENTER
DISCUSS AND CONSIDER THE PROCESS FOR SEARCH AND SELECTION OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION UNDER SEC