HOUSTON — KHOU 11 anchor Len Cannon sat down with Texas Education Agency commissioner Mike Morath to get answers to all of the questions Houston ISD parents, students and employees may have in regard to the state takeover.
The TEA has taken over seven school districts in the last 20 years, but none as big as HISD.
We want to get answers to your questions about the TEA takeover of HISD. Text what you'd like to know to 713-526-1111.
Below are answers to questions about the takeover
What happens now?
Nothing immediately happens, but with the takeover, Superintendent Millard House II and the nine board members will be replaced.
There is an application available for new board members. Here’s a link to apply
"We will prefer a diverse set of professional experiences, life experiences," said Morath. "Only when you have different perspectives and background can you make the best decisions for a diverse student population."
When will Superintendent House and board members be replaced?
Sometime in June.
Who decides the new superintendent and board members?
Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath gets the final say.
Will the new board be able to fire teachers and staff?
"Appointed board members have the same power as elected board members. The decisions they make from time to time, I can't speak to. They will make decisions I don't agree with," Morath said.
Will any HISD schools close with the takeover?
No, at least for now.
Wheatley High School was one of the schools that triggered the state takeover after hitting five straight years of failing state accountability ratings. It hit that mark in 2019 but has since improved to a C.
Morath said the takeover is not about closing schools but restructuring its support.
"We want to make sure the kids at Wheatley are given the best resource possible," Morath said. " They should have access to AP classes, computer science, debate...all the things that make so many things great for our kids."
Was it only Wheatley that had unacceptable ratings?
No, there was also an elementary school
What must the district do to get local control back?
No schools can have any more multiple years of D-F ratings. They have to have special education in compliance and the procedure of the board needs to be focused on student outcomes.