HOUSTON – The Houston ISD school board voted 5-4 Thursday night to replace interim superintendent Grenita Lathan and replace her with former superintendent Abe Saavedra.

The vote came as a surprise Thursday night.

The meeting was quite tense when the motion was first introduced. The board went on to vote out Dr. Grenita Lathan. She had only been in the position for six months, filling in that interim role while the district looked for a permanent hire.

The move was greeted with a ton of backlash. But why did it happen in the first place?

Some board members said when you have a sitting superintendent that wants to apply for the permanent job it discourages other candidates from applying.

Some members say this creates a fairer hiring process, but others disagreed.

In the meantime, Lathan will be replaced by former superintendent Abe Saavedra.

Lathan will return to her position as chief academic officer for HISD School Board where she can apply for the role of superintendent in the future.