AUSTIN, Texas – North Forest ISD’s lawsuit against the Texas Education Agency was dismissed Friday by a state district judge, who said the court “lacks jurisdiction” in the matter.
NFISD officials were suing TEA in an effort to stop the state agency from closing the school district and forcing them to merge with the Houston Independent School District.
“We are disappointed that the state district court judge declined to stop the closure of North Forest ISD. We will continue to fight for our children and our community,” NFISD Superintendent Edna Forté said in a statement released Friday. “We have still not received word from the U.S. Department of Justice on whether it approves the merger. The Trustees and our attorneys will continue to explore other options.”
NFISD officials said they intend to appeal the decision.
TEA is forcing North Forest to merge with HISD after sanctions for failing academics and financial mismanagement.
The plan is to allow HISD to annex the beleaguered district, which has historically been plagued by low-performing schools and high drop-out rates.
NFISD was given a year to turn things around, but the state said that never happened.
The merger will take effect July 1.