The State’s on the Verge of Taking Over Leadership of Houston ISD — and It May Spark the Reform It Needs

No one should be pleased to see state authorities take over the leadership of a local school district in this state.But the fact that the Texas Education Agency is on the verge of supplanting the entire school board in the Houston school district means something has gone terribly wrong with that district’s ability to govern in the best interest of its kids.We are cautious when state government uproots locally elected officials. But we have a republic form of government for a reason. Its tenets dictate that there are times when checks and balances are necessary. And the mess that is the leadership of the state’s largest school district is one of them.A six-month TEA investigation reportedly found instances in which trustees violated the Texas Open Meetings Act, inappropriately influence vendor contracts and made false statements to investigators. Officials have recommended that a state-appointed team replace the school board.In other words, governance has been deemed so bad in HISD that the state believes the representatives residents elected to lead the district must go so that the district can function properly.Investigators report years of failed oversight, infighting and distrust that came to a head with secret meetings by a portion of trustees in a failed attempt to oust Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. They’ve also interfered with day-to-day school operations and strayed from board policies.It seems some trustees don’t understand their roles and what they should and should not be doing.  Continue reading...

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