After months of investigation, the Texas Education Agency has announced plans to take over the largest school district in the state, Houston Independent School District.
The state launched a Special Accreditation Investigation into the district after multiple complaints alleging violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
Now, the state plans to appoint a board of managers and a superintendent. HISD's accreditation status will also be lowered to “accredited-warned”.
A letter sent by the TEA to interim superintendent Dr. Granita Lathan and Ms. Diana Davila, the school board president, says based on their investigation found that
--a quorum of the board of trustees deliberated and exercised decision-making powers outside of a public meeting,
--members of the board of trustees acted individually on behalf of the board, exceeding the scope of authority,
--and members of the board of trustees violated contract procurement rules.
The letter goes on to say “Given the inability of the board of trustees to govern the district, these sanctions are necessary to protect the best interests of the district’s current and future students."
The next part of the letter focuses on a second problem, campus performance ratings. Specifically, it addresses the problems with Wheatley High School. The campus has consistently received low marks since 2011.
HISD responded to the TEA’s letter with this statement quote ”The Houston Independent School District has received a letter from Commissioner of Education Mike Morath regarding the appointment of a board of managers. We want to assure our students, parents, staff, and community members that our primary focus will continue to be the education and success of our students."
The district has a right to a formal review regarding the assignment of the board of managers and the lowered accreditation status. The review will be considered if the district submits a written request to the TEA by November 20th.