HISD chief says budget not reason for leaving to NYC

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Richard Carranza says HISD did not play a role in his decision to take on his new role with New York City schools. (KTRK)

There are box lining one wall in Richard Carranza's office. They're moving boxes, ready to be packed up and moved to New York City.

The superintendent of Houston Independent School District is leaving his post after roughly 18 months on the job.

Just six weeks ago, he told Eyewitness News the district was broke. But in an interview Wednesday, 48 hours after his surprise announcement in New York, he said that had nothing to do with his decision to bolt for the Big Apple.

"The opportunity to serve the largest school district in America," he said was the reason, "One point one million students; 1,800 schools; 125,000 employees. I'm not leaving here because I'm dissatisfied with Houston."

The district is facing several obstacles, not the least of which is a funding shortfall approaching $200 million and the threat of the state of Texas taking control of several low-performing campuses.

We know the move came as a surprise to most everyone at HISD on Monday. Carranza told Eyewitness News he informed board members ahead of the televised press conference announcing his move.

Carranza says he understands some are disappointed in his departure. There is no good time to leave, he said.

"Timing is never good when you have a leadership change. There is always work to be done," Carranza said.

As for when he'll leave? That's likely in a couple of weeks. The particulars are still in discussion.

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educationHISDnew york cityschoolsbudgetHouston
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