Rumors are reportedly circulating that the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will be moving to take over the Houston Independent School District (HISD) as early as this week.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made mention of the possible development at a city council meeting on Wednesday.
“I’m talking to legislators, and what they’re saying to me is that the state intends to take over the district, replacing the entire board, replacing the superintendent … And they intend to do it next week,” Turner said, per the Houston Chronicle.
A state takeover of HISD would mark the culmination of a four-year legal drama between the school district and TEA over whether the state’s education agency has the legal authority to temporarily replace HISD’s elected school board with an appointed board of managers or conservator.
The Supreme Court of Texas weighed in on the matter recently, ruling in favor of TEA and opening the door for a state takeover of the district, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
At play is a law that allows the state government — via its education regulatory agency (TEA) — to appoint new district leadership if a campus logs five consecutive years of “unacceptable performance.”
Texas House Rep. Harold Dutton (D-Houston), a supporter of the law, told Fox 26, “I didn’t want to take over either. I wanted them to fix the schools. When I passed this law, I never thought this would happen. I thought they would fix the school.”
If TEA were to make the move, it would be the first time a district of HISD’s size would be run by a state-appointed school board. It would also pose a direct threat to the school boards of other similarly-sized districts that have allowed their campuses’ academic performance to falter.
Case in point, the Dallas Independent School District (DISD), which had 29 campuses earn a failing grade on last year’s TEA accountability report despite the best efforts of its educators, has had a long history of poor academic performance, as well as allegations of grade manipulation and corruption.
Still, it is unclear whether any particular campus at DISD is putting its Board of Trustees in jeopardy, even as a September poll last year found that a plurality of respondents blame the district’s poor academic outcomes on mismanagement.
In a statement last week, per KHOU 11, HISD Superintendent Millard House II said: “I remain laser-focused on fulfilling my duties as Superintendent alongside our Board of Trustees to provide the best possible educational outcomes for all HISD students. My team and I will continue to implement our community-informed strategic plan, which is delivering results for HISD students and families.”
The Dallas Express reached out to the TEA and Rep. Dutton for comment but did not receive a response by deadline.
When you listen to the people that are currently running the Houston School District you would think that the most important thing is preserving their bureaucratic fiefdoms instead of serving the students that attend the schools.
I used to think that educators, meaning teachers and administrators, were some of the best and smartest people. Sadly I have come to the realization that too many of these people have no clue what they are doing and have no business being in education. That said, there are also too many parents that are just not doing their job either.
go see how many Dallas ISD employees make over six figures! The education industrial complex left the kids long ago.
The problem 90% of the time is not the teachers, but the faculty, the head shed, they will not back the teachers on many issues and with problem students. Also in most large city schools 60% of the students attend only to visit friends and horse around study is not on their mind,. I was sent to help a teacher with her students, I walk in the room half of the students were standing on desks, running around the room, dancing, I am a retired teacher. Many of young teachers quite after two years because the faculty will not do anything to help, except send the problem students back to class..
Bawahahahaha another liberal city has a school district that is failing and a liberal thought they would fix the problem . . . Since when did a liberal EVER fix anything for the better?!???
When a community wants a good educational system there must be community involvement from the home to the school board. Merely complaining and trying to make excuses for failure solves nothing! If educati0n is not a priority with parents it will not be with their children either. The progressive slant towards education has undermined the talented educators by protecting the nonprofermers. Thank the teachers unions for that and the administrators see education as a way to make good money trying to solve problems they have created.
The whole system needs a do-over or allow more state funded private schools.