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Reefmonkey

Why is Klein ISD shaped the way it is?

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I've always wondered, why does Klein Independent School District have that long, skinny "panhandle" of territory that extends south of Cypress Creek (otherwise the southern border of the rest of the district) between Champion Forest Drive and Stuebner-Airline? Seems like logically that panhandle ought to be either part of Cy-Fair, or divided up between Cy-Fair and Aldine and/or Spring (although Spring is also weirdly shaped with two "lobes"). It seems like most of the 56 school districts in the Greater Houston area (with the exception of Houston ISD's western finger) are fairly reasonably compact in shape, Klein (and Spring) seem to be outliers.

 

Who decided on the boundaries of the school districts, anyway, and what was their criteria? Especially why was Klein given this strange appendage that would quickly become the worst part of the district?

 

http://texasbest.com/schools/map.html

 

https://kleinisd.net/UserFiles/Servers/Server_568041/File/District/District Quick Info/Kmap-Superintendent 2-26-18.pdf

Edited by Reefmonkey

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The answer lies in this post:

 

Quote

Klein ISD has a weird shape due to the fact that they gerrymandered in more 'diverse' neighborhoods stretching towards Houston, back in the 1970's in order to obtain more federal dollars.

 

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17 hours ago, mkultra25 said:

The answer lies in this post:

 

 

 

 

That explanation still leaves me with a lot of questions. If it's true, who did the gerrymandering? The district, or the state? It seems like the district wouldn't be able to just grab another ISD's land like that, and I have to assume that by the 70s, the timeframe the people in that thread are saying the land was gerrymandered, it should have already been long applied to another district. And having grown up in the Klein district in the 80s, and knowing the mindset of the residents there at that time (let alone 10 years before that), that then mostly lily-white group of voters would never have willingly agreed to annex Acres Homes and other nearby very black, very poor areas. So did the state force the annexation on them? If so, how, and why, and there must have been some record in the local papers of the inevitable public uproar and even legal fight over that.

 

But there is another problem with this explanation, and it's related to the 1970s timeframe for the explanation. Klein ISD lists Recreation Acres Elementary School as a former campus, it was opened in 1949 "to serve elementary students in the southern part of the district." Recreation Acres is just south of the intersection of 249 and Antoine, down in that southern panhandle that our fellow Haifers say wasn't annexed until the 1970s to get federal funding for being more diverse, but Klein ISD is saying that area was already part of the district back in 1949, when the feds weren't giving out such diversity funding. Its the same story for Garden City Elementary School, which opened in 1956 and closed in the 1970s. It was in the extreme southeast corner of the panhandle, if still open today it would be the southernmost campus in the district.

 

So unless Klein is distorting history and making it sound like these schools were opened and run by KISD when they were actually run by a predecessor district before Klein Annexed the area, it seems Klein owned this panhandle since at least 1949. That would be before anyone cared about "diversity", before the feds were offering dollars to schools for being more diverse.

 

So the question still remains, how and why did Klein end up with that long skinny panhandle extending so far south, when the rest of the district stops at the natural and logical boundary of Cypress Creek?

 

 

Edited by Reefmonkey

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Google Earth pro has aerial imagery for almost all of Harris County from 1953 and 1978. What I'm seeing is that from the 50's through the 70's, the KISD appendage would have been majority rural with some then-new middle class subdivisions. The poor areas in that part of the district seemed to have emerged later.

 

In the 1953 imagery, Recreation Farms was an actual "buy a lot in the country" type of community, and not just a collection of large, deep lots full of trailers and shanties as evidenced by the ratio of normal looking houses to other structures.

 

Is it possible that the district was trying to gerrymander its way towards some source of property tax revenue like oil wells or towards a large new subdivision?

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Klein didn't have the Khorville area and Acres Home was ripe for the taking as Aldine, HISD and Klein all got a piece of the action. Acres Homes should've had its own major high school and kept everyone there. But if you look at the older Klein Oak area it was real rural but I guess not enough minorities to feel the quota.

 

What made it odd was that the first AH group was bussed to Klein High then which was ridiculous. That's a far drive now but imagine it then. Sad how they done those kids only to send them back when Klein Forest was built but then the lines basically intersected with Aldine as kids who live across from Eisenhower are zoned to Klein ISD.

 

 

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An upshot of this was that Sylvester Turner attended Klein High School and was voted Mr. KHS one year in the early 70's.

 

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On 6/18/2020 at 2:45 AM, hbcu said:

Klein didn't have the Khorville area and Acres Home was ripe for the taking as Aldine, HISD and Klein all got a piece of the action. Acres Homes should've had its own major high school and kept everyone there. But if you look at the older Klein Oak area it was real rural but I guess not enough minorities to feel the quota.

 

What made it odd was that the first AH group was bussed to Klein High then which was ridiculous. That's a far drive now but imagine it then. Sad how they done those kids only to send them back when Klein Forest was built but then the lines basically intersected with Aldine as kids who live across from Eisenhower are zoned to Klein ISD.

 

 

 

They did have GW Carver High (later ACE, now GW Carver again), which was/is Aldine ISD.

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