HOUSTON — Houston ISD's Board of Trustees voted to end its lawsuit Thursday to stop the Texas Education Agency from possibly taking over the district.
Board members were emotional about the decision, saying it was a hard one to make.
“I came here to be a voice for children and always put them first in every decision, not just when it’s easy, but even when it’s hard," said Sue Deigaard. "Tonight was one of the hard ones.”
“We fought for our students, parents and community's right to a democratic voice for the last five years," said Houston ISD Trustee Elizabeth Santos during a board meeting Thursday. "We had all of our schools achieve passing ratings and we did it through a global pandemic, but we finally lost at the Supreme Court and we don’t have any procedures left to push our case. This battle is over, but our fight for democracy in public education will never be over."
In January, the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion that cleared the way for the TEA takeover. A timeline was never released on when that will happen but last week Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner revealed the takeover could come any day now.
As of Thursday, the TEA has not said if and when the takeover is happening. The agency's latest statement said it was continuing to review the Supreme Court's decision in order to determine the next steps.
If the takeover does happen, the HISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent Millard House II could be replaced.
Jackie Anderson, the President of the Houston Federation of Teachers, released the following statement about HISD ending its fight with the state:
"We place the blame squarely at the governor’s desk for putting politics and profit over the needs of our children and those who teach them.
We are also disappointed that the elected board dropped the lawsuit tonight. We elected them to support democracy and our public schools.
Teachers and parents will continue to fight for our children. We oppose the takeover and stand with families."
Watch the vote in the video below: