State representative says lawmakers to meet with TEA commissioner ahead of possible HISD takeover

Courtney Carpenter Image
Saturday, March 11, 2023
HISD dropping anti-takeover lawsuit is not giving up, trustee says
Houston ISD parents are heading into spring break not knowing whether they'll come back to the state taking over their district. That action could be taken in the coming week.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- ABC13 heard more from a local state representative on Friday on the timeline of the possible state takeover of Houston ISD.

Rep. Ron Reynolds says he and other Houston-area lawmakers are set to meet with Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morathin the middle of next week.

Reynolds told ABC13 he expects that soon after that meeting, HISD will be put on notice of either a takeover or the closing of Wheatley High School, though to be clear, we have no official word of what is going to happen and when at this point.

This is the latest in the years of back and forth regarding a possible takeover.

SEE PREVIOUS REPORT: More than 200 school districts ask TEA to reconsider accountability rating refresh

During Thursday's HISD board meeting, an 8-1 decision was made to end the legal battle against the TEA.

"When you're being told you have no legal footing left over and over, but you're paying attorneys to tell you this, at some point, you have to stop with the bleeding financially," HISD trustee Myrna Guidry said.

Guidry says it was an emotional one and does not signal a "give up."

"We do not want last night's decision to give any impression that we are not fighting for the children of HISD. And we do believe this board of education is the right decision," Guidry said.

Though it is unknown when exactly a decision will be made, it is clear that people are ready to know what is going to happen.

RELATED: 'Total obliteration': Mayor Turner says HISD takeover by the Texas Education Agency is imminent

"Families need resolution. The fact that we've had the takeover hanging over our heads for the past three years has contributed to the instability of the district," HISD parent Tish Ochoa said.

Ochoa is a parent of a fifth-grade HISD student and is someone who has been paying attention to the years of back and forth about the possible takeover.

"I think there are many people, myself included, who really want our elected representatives to be able to speak for us. However, if legally, there are no options, what parents need is transparency and communication from the TEA to move forward so we can be stable in this district," Ochoa said.

On Friday, ABC13 was sent the following statement from TEA Commissioner Morath:

"The decision made by the Houston ISD Board of Trustees helps put the focus back on what matters: the students, staff, and families of HISD. TEA remains committed to ensuring students in Houston receive a high-quality education that prepares them for success and will pursue a path forward that accomplishes that objective. Until the Agency makes any formal decision, I'm confident Superintendent House and the Board will continue their work to help the students of Houston."

It's a big decision, one many in the community continue to wait on.

"It's heart-wrenching that we have a district that we can't even tell either to go to the left or go to the right, you know. We're stuck, and our children don't deserve it," Guidry said.

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SEE ALSO: This Week in Texas looks a possible TEA takeover of HISD, school safety and vouchers