Texas Education Agency will take control of Houston ISD in June
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) will take control of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) in June, causing concern among parents, students, and community members. This decision comes after years of academic and financial struggles at HISD, which is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the nation.
TEA Commissioner Mike Morath announced the decision in February 2019, citing the district’s failure to improve academic performance and comply with state regulations. “It is abundantly clear that HISD cannot continue to operate with its current governance structure in place,” Morath said in a statement. “We are taking this action as a last resort to improve academic performance and financial stability at HISD.”
Under TEA control, a board of managers will oversee HISD’s operations instead of the district’s elected Board of Trustees. The superintendent and his staff will report directly to the board of managers, and the elected board will have limited authority.
This decision has caused controversy and uncertainty among stakeholders. Some see it as an opportunity for improvement, while others view it as a loss of local control and a threat to public education.
Proponents of the takeover argue that HISD has been struggling for years and needs drastic measures to turn things around. The district has faced several challenges, including declining enrollment, low academic performance, and financial mismanagement. In 2018, HISD received an overall grade of “C” from the Texas Education Agency, with several schools receiving failing grades.
Opponents of the takeover argue that it undermines local democracy and could lead to privatization of public education. Some have raised concerns about the potential for racism and discrimination in the process of selecting the board of managers. There are also worries about the lack of transparency and accountability in the TEA’s decision-making process.
The HISD board of trustees has filed a lawsuit to stop the takeover, arguing that it violates their constitutional rights and the Voting Rights Act. The lawsuit also claims that TEA failed to provide adequate notice and opportunities for public input before making the decision.
The TEA has defended its decision, stating that they have been monitoring HISD for years and have given the district multiple opportunities to improve. They believe that the takeover is necessary to ensure that students receive a quality education and that the district operates efficiently and effectively.
As HISD prepares for the transition to TEA control, there are still many questions and concerns about what the future holds. What will the board of managers look like, and how will they be selected? Will they prioritize student needs, or will they prioritize financial interests? How will this change impact teachers, staff, and the community?
Only time will tell how the TEA takeover will affect HISD and its students. However, it is clear that the district faces significant challenges that need to be addressed. Hopefully, the new leadership will be able to provide the support and direction needed to improve the academic and financial performance of HISD, while also creating a transparent and accountable process.