Rezoning of The Woodlands, College Park feeder zones fails to pass at Conroe ISD board meeting

Conroe ISD trustee John Husbands voiced many concerns about the district's rezoning plan. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Conroe ISD trustee John Husbands voiced many concerns about the district's rezoning plan. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

Conroe ISD trustee John Husbands voiced many concerns about the district's rezoning plan. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)

After hearing several resident complaints, the Conroe ISD board of trustees did not approve a rezoning recommendation for The Woodlands and College Park feeder zones at its Feb. 18 regular meeting.

Trustee John Husbands voiced the most concerns, thanking Deputy Superintendent Chris Hines and the CISD Attendance Boundary Committee for their work but criticizing the temporary solution their recommended plan provides.

“If it’s not good for one, it’s not good for any [student],” Husbands said.

The recommendation included rezoning several neighborhoods to bring overcrowded schools such as Ride and Lamar Elementary School down from overcapacity. Hines said the recommendation would have affected 608 students.

“One of the things the committee went back and heard loud and clear was nobody wanted to move,” Hines said. “It’s a good problem. People like their schools.”

Husbands said a real solution would be building a new school or even a pre-K center to move the burden of full-day pre-K students away from the elementary schools. However, there is no money budgeted for a new school, and the committee could only make a recommendation with the space currently available.

Superintendent Curtis Null said a school in the FM 1488 corridor was part of the district’s May 2019 bond proposal, but after voters did not approve that bond, the district removed several less crucial projects to create its $653.57 million bond that passed in November, including the proposed school.

Trustee Scott Moore said he received more emails about the rezoning process than about both of the district’s most recent bond proposals—about 112 total.

“Of that 112, they were almost exclusively from Galatas [Elementary School] parents, a few from Bush [Elementary School] parents, and then a few from unaffected but complimentary like-minded folks,” Moore said.

During the meeting’s public comment period, several parents spoke against the rezoning. Dee Howell, a Galatas Elementary parent, presented a petition with more than 700 signatures opposing the rezoning because it splits students between intermediate schools.

Fellow CISD parent Michelle Nolan said the board should consider whether the recommendation is the “best plan” available.

“The plan that the ABC committee has put before you tonight is a band-aid plan,” Nolan said.

Trustees Skeeter Hubert, Scott Kidd and Ray Sanders voted for the plan, while trustees Scott Moore, John Husbands and Dale Inman voted against. Because President Datren Williams was absent, the tie resulted in the recommended plan failing.

Hines said the board’s decision to not accept the plan will affect staffing and other plans for the 2020-21 school year.

In other news, the board confirmed new appointments in the district. The board voted to promote Tamika Taylor, currently the administrative director of assessment and school improvement, to become the new executive director of school improvement.

The board also confirmed Bryan Gorka, the current principal of the Conroe 9th grade campus, as the principal of the future Stockton Junior High School.

The next CISD board of trustees meeting is scheduled for Mar. 17 at 6 p.m. at 3205 W. Davis St., Conroe.

By Andy Li

Originally from Boone, North Carolina, Andy Li is a graduate of East Carolina University with degrees in Communication with a concentration in journalism and Political Science. While in school, he worked as a performing arts reporter, news, arts and copy editor and a columnist at the campus newspaper, The East Carolinian. He also had the privilege to work with NPR’s Next Generation Radio, a project for student journalists exploring radio news. Moving to Houston in May 2019, he now covers the Conroe Independent School District, Montgomery City Council and transportation.


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