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If you give developer John Niday Jr. a choice, children living in his new houses would go to Pearland schools.
Niday plans to build in Green Tee Terrace, an affluent Pearland subdivision. While most of Green Tee is in the Pearland Independent School District, Niday's parcel sits on the other side of the boundary line in the Pasadena Independent School District.
So like a parent shopping around for the best schools, Niday decided to move into another district. Using a little-known 1991 change in state education law, the developer asked the Pasadena school district to de-annex his tract and cede it to Pearland.
His plan didn't work. Pasadena school officials rejected Niday's request, claiming that it would erode the district's tax base and upset the racial and ethnic mix in predominantly white Pearland.
Still, that's not the end of this dispute. Niday plans to appeal Pasadena's decision with Texas Education Commissioner Lionel "Skip" Meno, and a Pasadena school district spokesman says trustees are engaged in "continuing talks" with their attorneys.
Niday isn't the first developer to try redrawing school district boundaries. His case is just a faint echo of a bitter annexation battle waged last year between The Woodlands Corp. and the Magnolia Independent School District. …