March 15, 2023      1:55 PM
Updated: In the middle of Spring Break, TEA confirms state takeover of the largest school district in Texas
Education Commissioner Morath briefed lawmakers this morning on plans for the Houston ISD; Chair Dutton stands by his push for this, but other minority members are outraged while Republicans applaud the Abbott Administration’s move
Editor’s note: As a
developing story, this article has been updated throughout – SB
“You could cut the tension
with a knife,” said one lawmaker who attended a closed-door meeting Wednesday morning
with Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, who was at the Capitol
to talk about plans for the state takeover of the Houston Independent School
District to begin in June.
Commissioner Morath told
lawmakers about the long-rumored plan. TEA confirmed it publicly later.
It’s also our
understanding that Morath gave a series of embargoed interviews to various news
outlets in Houston late yesterday about all this. In recent weeks, Houston
Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Sen. John
Whitmire, and other Democratic leaders from the area have spoken out
against the plan. That was after Mayor Turner said earlier this month that he
had heard TEA was about to do this.
“This process has been
without community engagement or any transparency. It's disheartening that the
Texas Education Agency has yet to speak directly to parents or the children,
and this announcement is happening during their spring break,” Mayor Turner said
after hearing confirmation of the takeover plan.
By Scott Braddock