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Re-redistricting HISD

Well, this would be different.

HISD Redistricting Plan

The Houston school board would grow from nine elected trustees to 17 under a bill filed by state Rep. Senfronia Thompson, who said she wants to give residents of the former North Forest school district increased representation.

The Houston Independent School District took over the northeast Houston district in 2013 under orders from the Texas Education Agency. The seven-member elected North Forest school board dissolved, and HISD absorbed the schools and students.

In September, the HISD board approved a redistricting plan to even out the population of the nine trustee districts in light of the new North Forest residents. But that move wasn’t enough, according to Thompson.

“Following the closure of North Forest ISD and the realignment of about 53,000 residents, many of my constituents feel that each school board district is so large that they have little or no say on any of the board’s decision-making process,” Thompson, D-Houston, said in a statement. “This bill will provide an opportunity for the North Forest community to have a stronger voice on the HISD school board.”

The nine HISD districts range in size from about 146,500 residents to nearly 156,300.

Under Thompson’s bill, which would apply only to HISD, the 17 trustees would represent about 77,200 people each.

See here and here for the background. Rep. Thompson’s bill is HB289. I will let this post serve as my biennial plea to everyone that writes anything about the Legislature to please always include bill numbers in those stories. This one was easy enough to find – it’s the pre-filing season, so Rep. Thompson had only one page of bills to her name, and the caption was recognizable – but that isn’t always the case. Please don’t make me curse your ancestry this spring. Include bill numbers. It’s the right thing to do.

Anyway. I doubt this will go anywhere, and I’m not sure how I’d feel about it if it did. I get the complaint, I’m just not sure this is the right answer. But we’ll see. Rep. Thompson can be very persuasive, so I wouldn’t count this out.

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3 Comments

  1. Ross says:

    That’s rich, coming from a community that continually elected self serving incompetents to the North Forest board. If they had elected decent trustees, they would still have their school district.

  2. Bill Shirley says:

    I doubt it will pass because most legislation doesn’t, but it seems entirely reasonable to me. The largest taxer in the area is HISD, and representing fewer people would make each member more responsive, and make it easier to get elected without larger funding.

  3. Mainstream says:

    The idea of expanding the board is entirely UNreasonable to me. A board of 17 persons just adds to the cost and bureaucracy of HISD, and slows the speed of decisionmaking. The community in the area of North Forest is a significant portion of the district they are in, and if they organize politically, they can elect a candidate of their choice there.