TEA Takes Over Failing Houston School District


HOUSTON – The Texas Education Agency has moved to take over the Houston Independent School District after three years of legal maneuvering and continuing systemic issues according to the TEA on Wednesday.  

After a prolonged legal battle and weeks of speculation, the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday confirmed it’s removing Houston Independent School District’s democratically elected school board and superintendent, effectively putting the state in charge of its largest school district.

The Texas Tribune is reporting the TEA will appoint a “board of managers” and replace Superintendent Millard House II and the current school board after June 1. The move is in response to years of poor academic outcomes at a high school in the district, which TEA Commissioner Mike Morath said requires his agency to either close that campus or appoint a new board to oversee the district.

“Even with a delay of three full years caused by legal proceedings, systemic problems in Houston ISD continue to impact students most in need of our collective support,” Morath wrote in a letter to district leaders Wednesday.

The TEA commissioner decides how long the board is in place. Usually, these sort of takeovers last two to six years.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa said the move is wholly political and blamed Gov. Abbott and Republicans for the takeover: 

“So let’s be honest about Republicans’ true intentions here: they want to demonize public schools, manufacturing a crisis to make them look weak and incompetent, using Houston kids’ education and families’ stability as pawns in their sick game. It’s no coincidence that Houston ISD is among the most diverse school districts in Texas, or that it’s located in one of the biggest Democratic strongholds in the state – and it’s also no coincidence that Republicans are pulling this shameful stunt right as they’re trying to kneecap support for public education to rally folks around their school vouchers agenda."

This is a developing story. 

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