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The Drastic Changes to the HISD Magnet Program

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On Saturday, January 20th, HISD officials stated that they will need to cut around 200 million dollars from its 2018-2019 budget in order to deal with the increased financial outlook. In addition to the budget cuts for next school year,  Houston ISD officials have proposed some changes that will affect the magnet and school choice system.

The proposed changes to the magnet and school choice system arose from the recommendations of the study committee was made up of school principles, parents, university experts and district staff.

Currently the magnet system allows for schools to create magnet programs and fund them where they can fit into the schools budget. In all of the schools in HISD there are 115 different magnet programs and schools throughout the district plus school such as High School of Visual and Preforming Arts and DeBakey High School for Health Profession that have certain standard that student have to meet to get accepted into the school.

The new proposed system would create two different types of magnet programs unique magnet campuses that enroll students from across the district and magnet programs that will be establish in elementary, middle and high schools that will feed into one another. The district decided to divide the city into magnet quadrants. Each geographic quadrant would offer schools with the same magnet theme and based on which schools are near each other they will have the same endorsements  for the magnet program For example, Since Westside has a STEM and Technology magnet program then they can implement either the same program or something that is similar at the nearest middle school which is Westbriar and the same goes for the elementary school which is either Daily or Bush.

Many teachers are concerned because many students that attend Westside travel 45 minutes or more to attend school daily. Dance teacher Bryan Paule says, ” The reconstruction of the magnet program has me thinking about the future of Inertia Dance Company and the future of my current dance student her at Westside.” Weather it is by school bus, metro bus or car based on the new proposed system if you want to attend as school that is out side of you geographical region you have to provide your own transportation to and from school.

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The Drastic Changes to the HISD Magnet Program