Monday’s Katy ISD school board meeting had little on the agenda that appeared to be contentious, but that didn’t mean there would be an absence of controversy.
More than 30 parents representing Griffin Elementary took trustees to task over their recent decision to change the attendance boundaries of the school.
Speakers lined up during the public comments portion of the board meeting to challenge the board’s decision and ask trustees to reconsider.
Parents said a last-minute change made by the board to the staff’s rezoning recommendation was “damaging to Griffin, is financially irresponsible and violates the pact made with Katy ISD taxpayers in the (most recent) bond package.”
They also said the board violated its own criteria and procedures in making attendance boundary decisions.
The speakers accused trustees of buckling in to the complaints of a small number of Kilpatrick Elementary parents at the expense of Griffin, which parents said had been “continuously splintered” since the school opened six years ago.
“You, the board of trustees, made a decision to favor a small group of people by leaving them at Kilpatrick without being aware of the splintering situation that has existed at Griffin since we opened our doors in 2006. Approximately 15 – 30 students splinter off from Griffin to Cinco Ranch Junior High each year without having the peer group that you suddenly deemed as an essential need,” one speaker noted. “Somehow, you claimed not to be aware of this fact. It should be a requirement of every board member to know important issues such as these about every school affected by rezoning; you need to look at every situation as a whole and follow your own rules.”
The parents also said trustees refused their request to put their concerns on the board agenda for formal discussion.
“Griffin has attempted to get the required three board members to put this issue back on the agenda, but you were either too afraid of upsetting (Land Use Zone) 75B or 68A, or afraid of what other board members may think and how they would use it to their advantage. As a board, it is your responsibility to make decisions that benefit our children,” another parent said. “By our children, we mean all the children of Katy ISD. You, as the board, cannot make decisions that affect an entire school based on the satisfaction of one LUZ. If you had followed your own rules, we would not have to be standing before you here today.”
One parent also suggested the board of making the last-minute zoning change in response to a “secret” request from residents of the affected land use zones.
“No school should get preferential treatment or be able to secretly request exclusion from rezoning,” the Griffin parent said.
Following the meeting, several Griffin parents told media representatives they “no longer trust” board members to treat the school fairly or make decisions based on criteria trustees themselves establish.
Since the comments were made during the public comments portion of the meeting, board members did not respond to the parents’ comments; however, several trustees met informally with a number of the Griffin representatives to discuss their concerns.
It is unknown whether trustees will reconsider their rezoning decision at a future meeting.