TASB Responds to the State Takeover of the Houston Independent School District
Austin— The Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) today released a statement from Executive Director Dan Troxell after the announced takeover of the Houston Independent School District (HISD) by the Texas Education Agency (TEA):
“On behalf of our Board of Directors, selected by locally elected school board trustees across the state, TASB is disappointed in the decision by TEA to replace HISD’s locally elected Board of Trustees with a state-appointed board of managers after June 1.
Here at TASB, we believe that the challenges facing public school districts — particularly the largest one in the state — are best addressed by adhering to the state’s long tradition of local governance, with school board trustees who are elected and accountable to the voters in their communities.
The district has made consistent progress since 2019, when it first faced the threat of state intervention with 94% of its 274 schools currently earning a grade of A, B, or C under TEA’s accountability system. In fact, the school that prompted this takeover process, Wheatley High School, has made significant improvement and recently earned a passing grade.
By appointing a board of managers not elected or accountable to the voters in HISD, TEA is diminishing the opportunity for parents and community members to have a choice and voice in the governance of their schools.
In addition, there’s no research to support that state takeovers improve academic outcomes. Instead, TASB urges state lawmakers to consider strategies that work, including increasing per-pupil spending and/or partnering with a higher education institution.
We urge the TEA Commissioner to reconsider this drastic move and return governance to a locally elected Board of Trustees, accountable to voters and the community.”
TASB is a nonprofit organization established in 1949 to serve local Texas school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 5.4 million public school students.