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Fort Worth State Rep. Fights to Protect Troubled SchoolS
Bill Seeks to Preserve Polytechnic High School
AUSTIN - State Representative Marc Veasey (D-Fort Worth) has filed House Bill 860, which aims to protect historic public education institutions such as Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth from certain forms of dissolution and prevent Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth from being renamed.
"There's no issue more important to the families in my district than education," Veasey said. "A quality education is the key to a successful future, and I support the efforts of the Fort Worth ISD and the education commissioner to raise standards in Texas schools. But, it is also important that we preserve the integrity of our history, and that we stand up for historically-important institutions like Poly that serve as historic markers in our neighborhoods."
Polytechnic High School was built in 1936, and named after the Polytechnic Heights neighborhood of Fort Worth.
The neighborhood was named after Polytechnic University, which is today known as Wesleyan University. The name "Polytechnic" means "relating to many arts and sciences."
In recent years, the school has come under scrutiny by Texas Education Agency and the Fort Worth ISD because of lagging test scores.
New technology and a new plan for attaining sustainable compliance with Department and district expectations have been put in place, but the FWISD already has new plans to improve education, including the possibility dividing the campus into two schools.
HB 860, if passed, will ensure that schools like Polytechnic High School have the time required to turnaround their academic performance after having received new equipment and establishing a new plan.
Under the bill, once an intervention team has been appointed to address problems within a school, no sanctions may be brought against the school for two years and until the intervention team has had a chance to conduct a comprehensive evaluation, make recommendations for improvement and the district has received the financing necessary to implement the intervention team's proposals.
The bill would also prevent the renaming of school campuses, even if the dissolution and re-incorporation of the school is determined to be necessary.
"The bond between a community and its local school is fundamental," he said. " When a campus is renamed, you lose the years of community investment, alumni connections and goodwill that the school has achieved."
Veasey was born and raised in Tarrant County and has lived in Fort Worth almost his entire life.
As a child, he lived in Como, Stop Six and Polytechnic Heights and he is a graduate of Arlington Heights High School and also earned a degree from Texas Wesleyan University, where he studied Mass Communication.
Veasey was elected to represent Texas House District 95 in November of 2004.
Since being sworn in, Veasey has earned a reputation as someone who works hard to be visible in his community and to be responsive to his constituents.
Increasing access to quality, affordable health care, as well as fighting for public schools and local economic development have been the focus of his legislative agenda.
Maintaining a campus' name, even when dissolution by the TEA has proven necessary, will retain that essential bond between the school and community, which is the first step towards achieving academic excellence," Rep. Veasey said.