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Texas School District To Eliminate It’s Libraries

Texas school district will eliminate its libraries and turn them into detention centres
‘New education system’ criticised by city leaders for revoking access to libraries

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The largest school district in Texas announced that it will eliminate libraries and replace them with discipline centres for misbehaving children in the new school session.

Houston independent school district announced it will convert libraries across its 28 schools for the “new education system” initiative led by superintendent Mike Miles.

The striking new development drew criticism from city leaders and sparked a debate on the relevance of school libraries.

Mr Miles, who was appointed in June, recently proposed plans to get rid of librarian and media-specialist positions for his initiative.

Under the plan, teachers will have the option to send misbehaving students to new discipline centres or so-called team centres where they will learn remotely.

Mr Miles said: “I am overwhelmingly proud that this many HISD school leaders are ready to take bold action to improve outcomes for all students and eradicate the persistent achievement and opportunity gaps in our district.”

The largest school district in Texas holds more than 189,000 students across its 274 campuses, according to its website.

It was recently taken over by the Texas Education Agency which appointed Mr Miles as the superintendent of the district.

The converted libraries will be called Team Centers “which are designed for students to continue working – individually or in teams – throughout the school day”, said Joseph Sam, a spokesperson from the school district.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner criticised the district for its decision, saying revoking access to the book is not the solution.

“For many of these kids,” Mr Turner said, “the library is their portal to the outside world.”

“You cannot have a situation where you are closing libraries for some schools in certain neighbourhoods and there are other neighbourhoods where there are libraries, fully equipped,” he said during a speech at a Houston city council meeting on Wednesday, Houston Public Media reported.

“With all due respect to the superintendent, I grew up in this city. I still live in the same neighborhood that exists. I am the mayor of this city, and I am the mayor of every person who lives in the city of Houston.”

Lisa Robinson, a librarian who retired from the district, said her “heart is just broken for these children that are in the [NES] schools that are losing their librarians”, according to KPRC2.

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