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28 Houston Independent School District Schools Will Turn Libraries Into Discipline Rooms

Under new Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles, students at 28 original schools will return to schools that have replaced libraries with disciplinary spaces.

The move comes as Miles began overhauling the district through his New Education System reform program. Meanwhile, former Superintendent Millard House II had aimed to put a librarian at every school. The school district mentioned that 57 additional schools that opted into the NES may make the same changes on a case-by-case basis. Many of the elementary, middle, and high schools include Weatley, Kashmere, and North Forest, among others.

Miles' decision comes from "prioritizing resources to meet specific outcomes, including closing the achievement gap, raising student proficiency, and preparing kids for the future," according to reports. Critics have responded that the change affects low-income communities in Houston that had no say in the new initiative's formation.

Former Librarian Deborah Hall currently advocates for libraries and librarians following 40 years working for HISD. Hall, advocates, and parents feel the changes will widen the equity gap and have negative consequences.

"It's sending an entirely wrong message. Five years from now, that student who was sent to the Zoom Room (former name for Team Center) in the library, may associate reading and libraries with a punishment," said Hall. "Closing libraries will increase inequity. Looking at one school with a library and a school without a library, it's not the same. These students with the library have a lot more advantage in their educational journey."

Let us know your thoughts below.

Link: ABC13


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