Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District

Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District

Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District (WHISD) was a school district in Texas serving the cities of Wilmer and Hutchins, a large portion of southern Dallas (the district was last headquartered at 3820 East Illinois Avenue in Dallas [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20070402222549/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/index.htm Home Page] as of April 2, 2007. "Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District".] ), and a small portion of Lancaster. Some unincorporated areas with Ferris addresses were served by WHISD.

The Dallas subdivision of College Terrace [http://www.kbhome.com/Community.aspx?CommID=00874076] is within the former WHISD boundaries.


Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District was established in 1927 as a consolidation of four smaller school districts " [http://www.clipfile.org/2005/07/15/797/ A family on both sides of district’s demise; Pioneer fought to save W-H; granddaughter cast key vote to close it] ." "Joshua Benton".] Wilmer-Hutchins High School was established in 1928.

Around 1939, Wilmer-Hutchins Colored High School burned down in a fire. After that occurred, children were bused to Dallas ISD schools such as Booker T. Washington High School and Lincoln High School.

In September 1954, more than 100 African-American students and parents went into Linfield Elementary School, then an all-White WHISD school."Last in the Class." "Dallas Observer". [http://www.dallasobserver.com/issues/1996-10-03/feature_5.html 5] .] They were tired of the district's periodic closing of Melissa Pierce School, an all-Black school, so students would pick crops. The district turned the students away.

In 1958, WHISD had 1,746 White students and 577 African-American students. The number of African-American students increased because the United States government established housing policies that concentrated many African-American families in the northern part of the district.

In 1967 Wilmer-Hutchins ISD was forced to desegregate. In February 1970, WHISD was forced to implement desegregation busing.

The cities of Wilmer and Hutchins attempted to form a mostly-White breakaway district in the 1970s, but failed. The mayor of Hutchins, Don Lucky, formed a group of followers and hijacked Hutchins Elementary School for a period. Many of the White people in WHISD moved away from the district. WHISD became predominately economically poor and African-American; WHISD became controlled by African-Americans. In 1996 around 17,800 people lived within the district. U.S. Census figures stated that the area was about 70% African-American and mostly blue collar. One in five people lived in poverty. One in fifteen adults held one or more university degrees. Most residents were homeowners. The "Dallas Observer" described the district, which had "urban demographics" and a location "a few minutes from downtown Dallas," as having an "incongruous rural feel" with "pig farms sit cheek by jowl with burglar-barred houses in sprawling subdivisions built 25 or 30 years ago" within the Dallas portion of Wilmer-Hutchins ISD.Last in the Class." "Dallas Observer". [http://www.dallasobserver.com/issues/1996-10-03/feature.html 1] .]


Throughout its existence, the district was historically recognized as one of the poorest-performing school districts in Texas, in terms of both student test scores and managerial oversight. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) had, on several occasions, appointed monitors to oversee the district, with no long-term success. The district's buildings were in poor shape. Large trees grew out of the bleachers of the Wilmer-Hutchins ISD football field."Hope Chest." "Dallas Observer". [http://www.dallasobserver.com/2005-07-21/news/hope-chest/ 1] .] Wilmer-Hutchins High School failed fire inspections twice in a row. [" [http://www.nbc5i.com/news/3751567/detail.html Wilmer Hutchins Gets Failing Grades Again] ." "KXAS-TV."] This led to the decrease of the student body in the district. The district shrank by more than a third of its student size in the 2000s, and, by the 2000s, the district's boundaries had more charter school students than any other district in the state of Texas.

Around 1996, according to the district's accounts, 600 students in the WHISD attendance zone attended school in other school districts, such as Dallas ISD and Lancaster ISD, by using false addresses or addresses of relatives, since many of the families in the WHISD attendance zone did not make enough money to enroll their children in private school.In 2004, the district closed Wilmer-Hutchins Performing Arts High School, A.L. Morney Learning Center, and Hutchins Academic Elementary School. The board also voted to eliminate the district's police department and fire the police chief, Cedric Davis. [" [http://www.clipfile.org/2004/12/14/752/ Wilmer-Hutchins board votes to close 3 schools; Police Department also gets ax as district tries to rein in costs] ." "Joshua Benton".]


In 2004, deciding that yet another round of oversight would accomplish nothing (and after the district's citizens overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to increase the property tax rate; the district's records were so shoddy that it could not provide evidence that property tax rate increases had ever been approved since the late 1950s), TEA ordered the district closed for the 2005-2006 school year. TEA allowed Dallas ISD to take over responsibility for educating students in the area for the 2005-2006 school year (Lancaster ISD was given first opportunity, but declined). Dallas ISD elected to close all of the Wilmer-Hutchins schools and sent students to its own schools. The entire senior class of Wilmer-Hutchins High School went on to South Oak Cliff High School. Other students were divided into several different schools.

After WHISD was ranked "academically unacceptable" (the lowest possible ranking of a school district in Texas) for the second consecutive year, TEA exercised its authority to close WHISD and to have DISD absorb it, which it agreed to do. [" [http://www.tea.state.tx.us/press/wilmerhutchinsannex.html Commissioner orders annexation of Wilmer-Hutchins to Dallas ISD, effective July 2006] ." "Texas Education Agency".] The United States Department of Justice approved the closure on December 13, 2005. [" [http://www.clipfile.org/2005/12/13/821/ U.S. Justice allows dissolution of W-H district; Scandal-plagued district is set to merge with DISD schools July 1] ." "Joshua Benton".] The district held its final meeting on June 30, 2006. [" [http://www.clipfile.org/2006/06/30/845/ Wilmer-Hutchins’ door closes, another opens; Broke, scandalized and a failure, school district shuts down; At midnight, what’s left of agency becomes part of DISD, which took in its children last fall] ." "Joshua Benton".]

One local newspaper, the "Dallas Observer", argues that DISD agreed to absorb the district because of the significant tax revenue to be gained from the recently-completed US$70 million Union Pacific Dallas Intermodal Terminal, which is located partly in the city of Wilmer and partly in the city of Hutchins, but wholly within the WHISD district boundaries. [" [http://www.uprr.com/customers/intermodal/featured/dallas/index.shtml Dallas Intermodal Terminal] ." "Union Pacific".]

After the closure of WHISD property values in the district increased. [" [http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-31429319_ITM W-H property values increase: Schools' negative publicity had scared development, some say.] ." "The Dallas Morning News". July 1, 2006.]

Use of former WHISD campuses and material by Dallas ISD

In January 2007, Dallas ISD removed 5,000 boxes with more than one half million personal records and placed them in the DISD administration building. The district also removed the trophies, banners, and plaques from the WHISD campuses.

As a result of the merger, Dallas ISD will hold the titles to the former WHISD campus facilities. For the 2008 bond proposal DISD plans to demolish the former Kennedy-Curry Middle School campus and renovate the Wilmer-Hutchins High School campus. In addition DISD plans to build a new elementary school campus within the former WHISD territory. [" [http://www.dallasisd.org/bond2008/pdf/SummaryofRecommendations.pdf Future Facilities Task Force Summary of Recommendations for 2008 Bond Program] ." "Dallas Independent School District".]

Movement to reopen WHISD

Faye Gafford started a group aiming to re-establish Wilmer-Hutchins ISD. Some WHISD residents missed the small-town country feel of WHISD schools and schools close to their houses. Some residents feel that the next preferable option is to have DISD open schools in the former WHISD territory. [" [http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/stories/070207dnmetwilmeryear.377659b.html A call for Wilmer-Hutchins' reopening] ." "The Dallas Morning News"] .

Gafford stated that "There have been predominantly White schools in this area whose students have done far worse on test scores than our children have. They are allowed to continue with their neighborhood school. Why is that?" Gafford did not state which schools performed worse than WHISD schools. [" [http://www.aframnews.com/WEB-pdfs/3-7-07-Pg1-8.pdf Petition Purposes to Reopen Dallas Black School District New Life For WHISD?] ." "African-American News & Issues"]

Former schools

chools operating at the time of closure

econdary schools

High schools

* Wilmer-Hutchins High School (Dallas) (nicknamed "The Hutch")
** Located at 5520 Langdon Road [http://www.schooldigger.com/go/TX/schools/4596005239/school.aspx]

Middle schools

* Kennedy-Curry Middle School (Dallas) (known as KC) (Opened August 1968 [http://web.archive.org/web/20030630004926/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/campuses/kcms/history.html] )
** Located at 6605 Sebring [http://web.archive.org/web/20030812070521/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/campuses/kcms/img0.gif] , named after John F. Kennedy and Dr. Milton K. Curry, the former president of Bishop College [http://web.archive.org/web/20030630004926/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/campuses/kcms/history.html]

Primary schools

* Alta Mesa Learning Center (Dallas)
** Located at 2901 Morgan Drive [http://web.archive.org/web/20020405161231/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/campuses.htm]
* Bishop Heights Elementary School (Dallas)
** Located at 3606 Tioga Street [http://web.archive.org/web/20020405161231/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/campuses.htm]
* C.S. Winn Elementary School (Hutchins)
** Located at 1701 Millers Ferry Road with a P.O. Box 1269 [http://web.archive.org/web/20020306053058/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/campuses/cswinn/index.htm]
* Wilmer Elementary School (Wilmer)
** Located at 211 Walnut Street [http://web.archive.org/web/20020405161231/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/campuses.htm]

chools previously operated by the district, closed prior to dissolution

econdary schools

* Wilmer-Hutchins Colored High School
* Wilmer-Hutchins Performing Arts High School (Dallas) (Closed 2004 [http://www.clipfile.org/2004/12/14/752/] )
** Wilmer-Hutchins Performing Arts, located in the former Mamie White campus [http://www.txcn.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/tv/stories/DN-mayorsuit_08met.ART.North.Edition2.6d34.html] , at 8612 Trippie Street [http://www.publicschoolreview.com/school_ov/school_id/120925#map] , had 82 students at the time of closure [http://www.clipfile.org/2004/12/07/750/] .

Primary schools

* Hutchins Academic Elementary School (Hutchins) (Closed 2004 [http://www.clipfile.org/2004/12/14/752/] )
** Located at 500 Palestine Street [http://web.archive.org/web/20020405161231/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/campuses.htm] , Hutchins Academic had 83 students at the time of closure [http://www.clipfile.org/2004/12/07/750/] .
* Linfield Elementary School
* Melissa Pierce School
* Mamie White Elementary School


* A. L. Morney Learning Center (Hutchins) (Opened 2003 [http://www.window.state.tx.us/tspr/whpr/] , Closed 2004 [http://www.clipfile.org/2004/12/14/752/] )
** Morney had 82 students at the time of closure [http://www.clipfile.org/2004/12/07/750/] .


External links

* [http://web.archive.org/web/20060430072739/http://wilmerhutchins.ednet10.net/ Archive of the Wilmer-Hutchins ISD site]
* [http://www.clipfile.org/clips/001402.php Article about the closing of WHISD]
* [http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/backtoschool/stories/081605dnmetdisdwilmer.76e2a15a.html Article of the introduction of W-H students into the DISD system]
* [http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/dronan/stories/wfaa050814_mo_whisd.7847863f.html Another article of the introduction of W-H students into the DISD system]
* [http://www.dallasobserver.com/issues/1996-10-03/feature.html Another article on WHISD and its issues]
* [http://www.dallasobserver.com/issues/2005-07-21/news/schutze.html Article explaining the reasons of the merger]
* [http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/img/08-04/0822wh.pdf Dallas Morning News graphical insert on WHISD before its superintendent was indicted]
* [http://www.aframnews.com/html/2005-05-25/lead3.htm "African-American News & Issues" article criticizing the forced takeover of Wilmer-Hutchins ISD]
* [http://whhstx.tripod.com/ Wilmer-Hutchins alumni]

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