BACK -TO -SCHOOL: HISD students return to district in turmoil

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Just under 209,000 students will return to HISD schools Monday morning, one of a number of area school districts beginning the 2019 fall semester tomorrow.

For HISD, it's the start to a new school year that may bring dramatic changes for one of the largest school districts in the nation.

There is the potential of a takeover by the state because of the district's accountability ratings; 21 of its 280 schools received a failing grade by the Texas Education Agency, Wheatley High School was among them. Despite that, the district's overall rating is a "B."

RELATED: 21 HISD schools receive "F" in annual Texas Education Agency report

The larger concern by the state involves the governance of the district by its elected school board. Several members are being investigated by the state for alleged violation of the open meeting law, as well as business rules.

Several Houston legislators have called for the board's replacement, and a new board will be elected in November. The possibility that the state may appoint one of its own is still there.

RELATED: Houston area school districts graded in newly released TEA accountability rankings

Even so, interim HISD Superintendent, Dr. Grenita Lathan predicted a "great" school year ahead for students.

"Here's what parents definitely know. Who their principal is and who their teacher is. That's our main focus. We as a team have ensured all our schools have prepared for students and their families," Lathan said.

RELATED: Will HISD schools make the grade to avoid state takeover?

"Teachers are concerned," said Andy Dewey with the Houston Teachers Federation. "The ones who've contacted us want to know what's going to happen. Of course, they're worried about their jobs," he said.

Dewey expects no decision by the state regarding a takeover, or appointing a school board will be made before January.

"What's going on in Austin and with the school board isn't going to affect students tomorrow in their classroom. Parents, just drop your kids off and give them a kiss. They'll be fine tomorrow."

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