Houston ISD Sues Texas Over Possible State Takeover

Houston Independent School District is suing the Texas Education Agency, accusing the state of trying to "punish" the district.

A recent TEA investigation found HISD board members tampered with contracts and interfered with the duties of school administrators. Then came the news that 21 HISD school received failing grades under the TEA's new system.

The grades could determine if some of Houston ISD's long-struggling schools should be shut down, or if its school board should be replaced by the state.

“It's an undemocratic power grab by TEA to take over HISD and hand over our neighborhood schools to charters,” says Ruth Kravetz with Community Voices for Public Education.

“This board is mostly women, mostly of color and Democratic,” she says. “And the state, controlled by Republicans Gov. Greg Abbott and TEA Commissioner Mike Morath, have singled out large urban districts.”

TEA Board Member Barbara Cargill issued a statement saying “Houston, like all districts, can appeal its accountability ratings, so nothing is final. The commissioner hasn’t made a decision about what to do.”

Kravetz says the TEA's recent report card confirms HISD is on the right path.

“It's got a B plus academic rating, higher than Dallas ISD the last two years, and exactly one point lower than the prestigious Cy-Fair Independent School District,” she says.

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