HOUSTON — State lawmakers have filed a bill in response to a looming Texas Education Agency (TEA) takeover of Houston ISD.
Senate Bill 1662, filed by state senators Carol Alvarado, Borris Miles and John Whitmire, would make it so the TEA is not required to close a school or replace the school board with a board of managers during a takeover.
As the law stands, the current school board of elected trustees would be replaced with an appointed board from the state if the takeover were to happen.
“S.B. 1662 offers the agency options to work collaboratively with HISD to address any current deficiencies instead of subjecting nearly 200,000 students and 27,000 teachers and employees to a takeover," Sen. Alvarado said.
Sen. Alvarado told KHOU 11's Adam Bennett she believes the bill will help bring more accountability.
Sen. Paul Bettencourt said he doubts the bill would have an immediate impact if it were to pass.
“Any change now would take literally years to work its way through the courts, even if it even passed by the Legislature," Sen. Bettencourt said.
Mayor Sylvester Turner on Tuesday reiterated that he expects the TEA to take action soon.
"The way the process is unfolding its leading to a great deal of speculation," the mayor said. "At this point, for me, I am simply calling on TEA to make their intentions known."
The only thing the TEA has said is it's continuing "to review the Supreme Court's decision in order to determine next steps that best support the students, teachers, parents, and school community of the Houston Independent School District."
HISD is the largest school district in the state with around 187,000 students across 274 schools.
On Monday, community members voiced their opposition to a TEA takeover at a forum hosted by the Houston NAACP and several local organizations.
Many who spoke at the forum called it a hostile move and expressed that a TEA takeover would be more harmful for students than it would be helpful for them or their teachers.
“There need to be more options on the table for one," said HISD parent Marlynn Jones. "We just can’t just walk in and take over a school, especially a school that has made progress.”
An HISD teacher who attended the forum said she and her fellow colleagues are scared.
"We don’t know the future," said Arnetta Murray. "We don’t know if we’ll have a job. We don’t know anything, and that’s not fair."