State OKs Houston-Area School District Shutdown

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The state's top education body has upheld the order dissolving a troubled Houston-area school district and annexing it to the Houston school district.

The Texas Education Agency decision Monday upheld Education Commissioner Michael Williams' order shutting down the North Forest Independent School District. The district's board can appeal the decision to the State Office of Administrative Hearings and also is subject to Justice Department scrutiny. If the order stands, however, the district would be annexed to the adjacent Houston Independent School District effective July 1.

Williams' predecessor, Robert Scott, had ordered the North Forest district to close in July 2012 but granted a one-year reprieve.

The district has a long history of poor academic scores. District officials acknowledged a troubled past but said they were moving in the right direction.