Houston– Dodson students and parents sent a strong message to Houston Independent School District with its boycott of Dodson Elementary.
“The only thing the district understands in money,” said organizer and HISD parent Loretta Brock. “We have hit them in the pocketbook where it hurts.”:
Low attendance would affect HISD funding as funding depends on attendance daily figures.
“We are standing up for our children,” she said. “Our children understand what is at stake and are here standing with us too.”
Parents and children stood in solidarity and now the work goes on as the group plans further strategies to get the attention of board members and Superintendent Terry Grier that the decision to close the school and disrespect parents will not be tolerated.
Residents also want the district held accountable for at much as $4 billion in bond money voters approved, but are yet to see the dollars working in their neighborhoods.
According to Brock, minimum enrollment guidelines are not applicable to specialty schools. Dodson is a Montessori specialty school with 430 students, about 30 more than Blackshear Elementary- the school Dodson is being combined with.
The school has 15 six grade students and one class of fifth grade traditional class.
Records indicate that the student count argument is not valid because the school had over 200 Montessori applicants and few were enrolled and some were told to there was no more space.
Dodson also has over 218 applicants for the coming school year and was part of a grant program.
She said HISD has not been forthcoming with information requests from community leaders and parents – something she vows will no longer be acceptable.
She said HISD school communities have good children, good parent and are close communities with citizens tired of the disrespect.
“They are taking our schools and our money and doing what they want and that affects our quality of life,” she said. “We are showing them who is in control because the only thing they understand is money.”