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Texas Education Agency will take over Houston ISD this June

Your Wednesday morning headlines for March 15, 2023
Your Wednesday morning headlines for March 15, 2023 03:15

HOUSTON ( — After meeting with state legislators this morning, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) will take control of the state's largest school district this summer.

Under current law, the TEA is required to either close campuses that have underperformed for five consecutive years or take over their respective districts. 

The Texas Tribune reported that on March 15, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath confirmed his agency will appoint a board of managers to replace Houston Independent School District's (HISD) superintendent and current board beginning June 1.

Morath first announced that the TEA would take over the district back in 2019. The decision was made after a report was released that detailed chronic underperformance at Wheatley High School.

Members of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus' Houston delegation met with Morath earlier this morning to express concerns about the state's plan to take control of HISD.

Caucus members argued that the takeover will be counterproductive and said that the district has been steadily improving over the past few years. They claimed that the plan will negatively impact teachers and students.

They were then told that the TEA plans to move forward with the HISD takeover.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the caucus said that they "want to ensure the people that we will not give up so easily and that we will continue to pursue all options at this time, including legislation." 

Rep. Alma Allen, a Democrat whose district includes part of south Houston, filed House Bill 3780 on March 7. HB-3780 would amend the law to allow the TEA to take other, less drastic options besides closing campuses or taking over districts.

"We are disappointed to learn that TEA will be moving forward with taking over HISD, a move that will affect over 194,000 students at 276 campuses across the district," said Texas Legislative Black Caucus Chairman Ron Reynolds.

"Ultimately, we need to be focusing on the best ways to help serve our students and teachers, and a takeover of the school district, which we know has not worked in the past, is not the way to move forward."

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