Dr. Duncan F. Klussman and Taylor Landin: In Conversation with Bill King
3755 Richmond Ave.
Houston, TX 77046
Thursday March 28, 2024
11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
The Rotary Club of Houston is pleased to present this very important program, featuring Dr. Duncan Klussman, currently Clinical Asst. Professor, Department of Education Leadership & Policy Studies, Univ of Houston, and Bill King, who has been the voice of moderate Houstonians seeking common sense solutions to our problems for over thirty years.
The Houston Independent School District, largest in Texas, was taken over in 2023 and became a dependency of the State of Texas using the power granted to it by a 2015 Texas law allowing the takeover if one school failed state standards for 5 years running. Wheatley High failed to allow the state to either close it or take over the entire school district. Of course, there were more reasons for the takeover-allegations of misconduct by school board members and the ongoing presence of a state conservator who had been overseeing the district for many years.
Formerly, Dr. Klussman spent 11 years in SBISD (Spring Branch Independent School District) as Superintendent of Schools. During that tenure Dr. Klussman passed the largest bond program in the district’s history, helped create SKY Partnership with SBISD and KIPP and YES Prep, an innovative partnership between a school district and charter schools; a-one-of-a-kind-event.
Problems facing school districts are enormous: Teacher burnout, wholesale resignations, lack of quality replacements, low teacher pay, bloated bureaucracy, unwillingness to fund schools at the federal/state level, unequal resources for schools, elimination of stimulus money to schools from federal sources by Sept 2024, COVID setbacks, the threat from Charter Schools, deteriorating mental health of students.
Can the rigid reforms being implement by State of Texas’ appointed Supt. Mike Miles turn around the mostly Black, Hispanic and low-income students in Houston and what is the future impact of the many millions of undocumented border crossers to our schools?
Please invite your friends and prospective members to hear one of the most important programs that The Rotary Club of Houston will present this year.
Joe Colangelo
Rotary Club of Houston
Program Committee
Duncan F. Klussmann served as the Superintendent of Schools in Spring Branch Independent School District (SBISD) from December of 2004 until June 30, 2015. On July 1, 2015 he assumed the title of Superintendent Emeritus. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Klussmann served as an interim superintendent and area superintendent for SBISD. His vast experience includes periods as a school principal and assistant principal, as well as a classroom teacher.

During his 11 year tenure in SBISD, the school district passed the largest bond program in the history of the school district. The $597 million program replaced 13 aging elementary schools, renovated all remaining campuses, provided for new school buses, enhanced athletics facilities, and greatly expanded technology use in the school district. The original program called for the work to be accomplished over a 10 year period of time. As the result of a carefully designed management program, the bond work is scheduled to be completed well ahead of schedule with significant financial savings.

In 2012, Dr. Klussmann helped create the SKY Partnership, which joins together SBISD with KIPP Houston (KIPP) and YES Prep Public Schools (YES Prep) at two district middle schools where new campus program charters now operate. In August of 2015, the partnership expanded into high school. In the Houston region, such an innovative partnership between a school district and charter schools is one of a kind.

In addition, Dr. Klussmann worked closely with the board of trustees, community, staff and students on the creation of the Spring Branch Plan 2012-2017 Goal and Belief Statements. Utilizing a single-focused goal, SBISD doubled the number of students completing a technical certificate, military training and two or four-year degree. This ambitious goal is referred to as Spring Branch T-2-4.

Dr. Klussmann has twice served as president of the Texas School Alliance, an association of 39 of the largest and most influential school districts in Texas. He was recently named one of three 2014 Houstonians of the Year by the Houston Chronicle. A recipient of the Lifetime Member Award from the Texas Parent and Teacher Association, Dr. Klussmann received the TABE Honoree Award for Public Education in 2012. Dr. Klussmann now serves as a board member with United Way, and he remains active with numerous community groups.

A native of Brenham, Texas, Duncan Klussmann lives in Houston with his wife, Marissa, and their three children.

Taylor Landin is Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer at the Greater Houston Partnership. The Greater Houston Partnership is the principal business organization serving the greater Houston region, with over 900 member companies that together employ about a fifth of all metro Houston workers.  The mission of the Partnership is to make the Houston region a great place to live, work, and build a business.

At the Partnership, Taylor leads a team of public policy and advocacy professionals who work to advance the Houston business community’s policy priorities at the federal, state and local levels. This is Taylor’s second stint with the organization where he was previously Vice President of Public Policy for three years before joining AT&T as Regional Vice President for External Affairs where he was responsible for stakeholder relations and advocacy throughout Southeast Texas.

Taylor began his career working on campaigns and for elected officials. These positions included two presidential campaigns, the Office of Legislative Affairs in the White House and staff for two members of Congress from Texas.