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What is the Texas Education Agency?

A TEA takeover of the Houston Independent School District was announced Wednesday morning. Here's an update on what the TEA is.

TEXAS, USA — The Texas Education Agency will be taking over HISD, the largest school district in the state. Below is information about the state agency that will be taking over HISD.

About the TEA

The TEA is the state agency that oversees primary and secondary education in Texas. The agency said its role is to improve outcomes for all public school students in the state by providing leadership, guidance and support to school systems. 

Who heads the TEA?

The TEA is under the leadership of Mike Morath, a member of the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees. He was appointed commissioner of education by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Dec. 14, 2015. 

Under the commissioner is a hierarchy of deputy commissioners, associate commissioners, division directors, and agency staff. 

According to its website, the TEA and the State Board of Education guide and monitor activities and programs related to public education in Texas. The State Board of Education consists of 15 elected members representing different regions of the state. One member is appointed chair by the governor.

The TEA handles distributing state and federal funding to public schools in Texas. It also administers statewide assessment and accountability programs and supports the Texas State Board of Education. 

  • Administers the distribution of state and federal funding to public schools
  • Administers the statewide assessment program and accountability system
  • Provides support to the State Board of Education (SBOE) in the development of the statewide curriculum
  • Assists the SBOE in the instructional materials adoption process and managing the instructional materials distribution process
  • Administers a data collection system on public school information
  • Performs the administrative functions and services of the State Board for Educator Certification
  • Supports agency operations, including carrying out duties related to the Permanent School Fund
  • Monitors for compliance with certain federal and state guidelines.

You can read more about the TEA, its leadership and its strategic plan here.

How many districts has TEA taken over?

The TEA has taken over 15 school districts since 1991. The reasons range from deficiencies in financial issues to accountability scores.

The TEA has intervened in four districts in the Greater Houston area. Those include:

  • North Forest ISD
  • Shepherd ISD
  • La Marque ISD
  • Kendleton ISD

The TEA got involved with North Forest ISD after it found accounting and data reporting issues. It was ultimately annexed to HISD. 

Shepherd ISD ultimately closed and La Marque ISD was annexed to Texas City. Kendleton was annexed to Lamar Consolidated ISD. 

Not all school districts taken over by the state are closed or get annexed. The TEA took charge of El Paso in 2012 and it was returned six years later when it met state standards. 

Below is a list of the other Texas school districts that were adopted by the TEA:

  • Kendleton ISD
  • Marlin ISD
  • Pearsall ISD
  • Progreso ISD
  • Snyder ISD
  • Southside ISD
  • Wilmer Hutchins ISD
  • Beaumont ISD
  • Edgewood ISD
  • Harlandale ISD
  • Hearne ISD


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