Tensions escalate as Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee appears at TEA’s first public meeting on the HISD takeover.
Delgado said they have received 138 applications so far to appoint a board of governors to replace the district’s elected board of education.
HOUSTON — As your education station, KHOU 11 will make sure you know as much as possible about the Texas Education Agency’s takeover of Houston ISD. And that includes a live stream of the first of four community gatherings hosted by TEA on Tuesday night.
The parents showed up for the meeting at Westbury High School early enough to make sure they could attend. This meeting was their first opportunity to meet face to face with members of the TEA management and operations team.
TEA Deputy Commissioner Alejandro Delgado led a meeting that quickly got out of hand. He was repeatedly interrupted by people who said that they did not care if the process leaders were appointed, but would like to get answers about the takeover itself.
“They don’t answer the questions we need to hear to make sure their takeover is successful,” one HISD parent said.
“It’s very frustrating, very disrespectful for them to come into our community claiming they’re here to talk to voters and parents, and they’re doing the complete opposite,” said another.
Delgado said TEA has received 138 applications so far to appoint a state-appointed board of directors to replace the district’s elected board of education.
He emphasized that applicants must reside in Houston in order to be considered for the position. Positions are unpaid and the application deadline is April 6th. Delgado said TEA plans to appoint a management board by June 1st.
He said the state agency is seeking advice from local Houstonians that reflects the diversity of HISD.
Delgado also laid out a timetable for how control of the district could be returned to an elected council. Two years after being placed on the Board of Management, if HISD has achieved its progress goals, the TEA Commissioner may announce a timeline for a return to the elected Board.
Each year after this decision, a third of the board of governors will be replaced by elected trustees.
Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee attended the meeting and addressed the crowd.
“It will be a difficult process,” she told the crowd.
Rep. Jackson Lee confirmed that she and other local leaders oppose how the TEA takeover came about. While TEA has said it will post questions about the board application process online, Jackson Lee said she wants to make sure All questions have been answered and it is planned to address them directly to TEA Commissioner Mike Morath.
“I think Commissioner Morath should know that he cannot hold such meetings and not answer your questions,” Jackson Lee said.
You can watch the full meeting below:
TEA has scheduled three more HISD takeover community meetings on the following dates:
Each meeting will take place at 18:30.
Gov. Abbott was also at the Houston school on Tuesday.
Governor Greg Abbott spoke Tuesday morning at the Parent Empowerment Day event at the State Capitol.
“I strongly support public schools in the state of Texas,” Abbott said.
He did not mention the HISD takeover. Instead, the governor pledged to fund public education and raise teacher salaries, and promised to pass school choice bills during the 2023 legislative session.
“Just as charter schools didn’t limit public school funding, there won’t be a choice of schools in the state of Texas,” Abbott said.
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