Rumors of a HISD takeover were met with protests, pushed by Houston leaders

Rumors of a HISD takeover were met with protests, pushed by Houston leaders
Rumors of a HISD takeover were met with protests, pushed by Houston leaders

With time apparently running out, Houston politicians on Friday vowed to file lawsuits and legislation — whatever it takes — to stave off a possible state takeover of Houston ISD that has been in the works for four years.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and state representative Alma Allen announced earlier this week that they had heard reports that the takeover could happen as early as March 6. The Texas Supreme Court finally authorized the Texas Education Agency to take control of the school system in January but has yet to take formal steps to do so.

“We as a body, as state legislators, stand before you to say, ‘We are not asleep at the wheel,'” state Rep. Jarvis Johnson said at a protest in Discovery Green Park on Friday, one of a series of events held to highlight that the situation urgent. “We are in the process of rewriting the law. We are looking at every lawsuit we can bring to the doorstep of the governor, and the TEA, to thwart the TEA’s efforts.”

PROTEST: Houston community, unions and church leaders protest possible state takeover of HISD

Turner asked TEA Commissioner Mike Morath and state lawmakers during the protest, and earlier this week, to change the law so the state does not appoint a board.

During their conversations, Morath did not confirm or deny takeover plans, but cited a provision of state code that he says requires TEA to take over a district or close a school that has failed for five consecutive years.

Turner advocates another option: “If there is something that is not in the best interest of the children, you can go to the legislature now and make any changes that are necessary and we can move further down the road,” the mayor. so.

See also  Here's how Houston fares on the gender pay gap

The district remains in limbo as it waits to learn its fate.

“We also know there are uncertainties associated with TEA interventions,” Superintendent Millard House II said at the State of the Schools luncheon Friday, which was meant to be a fundraiser and centennial celebration. “I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know what the future will bring.”

House honed in on the importance of public education during the event, which was overshadowed by the looming state takeover of the 187,000-student district.

Whatever the future holds, students can still make academic gains if they get the support they need, he said.

IN THE COMING DAYS: State takeover of Houston ISD by TEA could come as soon as next week, says Mayor Sylvester Turner

During a panel interview after his remarks, Ruth Turley, a researcher at the Kinder Institute at Rice University, asked House why he took the position of superintendent in June 2021, knowing there was a threat of a takeover.

“My wife said I was crazy,” he replied as laughter filled the room. “I always enjoyed building teams.”

He then went on to discuss the research the district is doing around equity. HISD has partnered with Rice to look at disparities in HISD, including access to Pre-K and disciplinary disparities between black students and their peers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *