Houston ISD Students and Parents Protest Racist TEA Takeover
Houston Independent School District (HISD) students and parents have taken to the streets to protest the proposed takeover of the largest public school district in Texas by the state’s Education Agency (TEA).
The TEA has announced plans to take control of the HISD board of trustees, citing a decade of chronic underperformance in the district, including a failing school rating for one high school and four other campuses.
The proposal, which would replace the elected school board with a state-appointed board of managers, has elicited a strong response from the community.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and the HISD board of trustees have vowed to fight back against the TEA’s recommendation.
The community is outraged at the proposed takeover, which they view as an attack on local control of schools and an attempt to disenfranchise minority communities. They point out that the TEA has a history of failing to improve struggling schools when it takes over.
In response to the proposed takeover, students and parents have held rallies and marches, demanding that the TEA abandon its plans and allow the local school board to continue its work.
One parent, Leticia Plummer, told Houston Public Media that she was concerned about the impact of the takeover on her children.
“I have three children who are currently enrolled in HISD, and I’m terrified of what this takeover will mean for them,” Plummer said. “We need to send a clear message to the TEA that we won’t stand for this.”
Students, too, are speaking out against the proposed takeover. High school senior Ana Gonzalez told ABC News that students are worried about the potential disruption to their education.
“We don’t want to lose the progress we’ve made as a district,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve worked too hard to let the TEA take over now.”
Protesters have also taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the TEA’s proposal, using hashtags such as #KeepHISDLocal and #NoTEATakeover to spread their message.
Despite the public outcry, the TEA’s proposal is expected to be approved by the Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath in the coming weeks.
However, supporters of HISD remain undeterred, vowing to fight the takeover every step of the way.
“Our community stands in solidarity with our elected school board members,” said Gaby Gallardo, a spokesperson for HISD parent group Houstonians for Great Public Schools. “We will not back down in the face of this attack on our schools.”
As the battle over HISD’s future heats up, it remains to be seen who will emerge victorious. For now, students and parents are determined to keep their voices heard and their schools under local control.