2nd TEA meeting on HISD takeover devolves as activists bring out a megaphone

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Crowd quickly takes over HISD takeover TEA meeting: 'Must be stopped'
A crowd at the second HISD takeover meeting appeared rowdier, barely giving a TEA representative the chance to speak.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Less than 10 minutes after Texas Education Agency Deputy Commissioner Alejandro Delgado started Wednesday night's community meeting at Chavez High School, the community took over.

Well-known activist and politician Gerry Monroe brought a bullhorn, and a line quickly began forming.

"What our schools need is more funding," one person said.

"They must be stopped," another person added.

"I will not support the takeover, and I will continue to fight," a speaker echoed.

A mix of activists, HISD teachers, and concerned citizens took up the rest of the allotted hour.

Houstonians upset with the lack of transparency over TEA's takeover of HISD flouted the education agency's process for questioning, instead using an attendee's bullhorn.

Delgado, who had asked those attending to submit questions online or on cue cards, didn't get to any questions during the second meeting.

"Most of it was just statements of protest," Houstonian Brad Walker said. "I would have loved to have heard more answers to how the process is going to happen."

"As a kid with ADHD and autism who has accommodations, I feel like the TEA is a threat to my accommodations, my special education," 12-year-old Fraser Cardea, who also said the TEA would probably be over HISD until he graduates high school, said.

There were about 250 people in the crowd, most of them with questions and concerns about why the takeover is happening in the first place.

Commissioner Mike Morath, who was not at Tuesday or Wednesday night's meeting, will singlehandedly decide who to appoint to the district's new board of managers.

SEE ALSO: TEA Commissioner skips out on 1st meeting addressing questions about state's takeover of HISD

ABC13 has contacted the TEA multiple times, asking about his whereabouts and any plans for him to travel to Houston to speak to community members. We have not received a response.

"There is not enough transparency," Monique Carlyle, an educator, said. "So I don't think there can be an honest conversation until TEA is honest with us."

"It's a nonfaith, poor faith, bad faith effort, if you will, at pretending to communicate," Sarah Terrell, whose children graduated from HISD, said. "The idea is always keep us on the defense. Don't let us know what they're actually going to do before they do it."

"I always told my kids, 'You have a voice, use it.' And I'm very proud that my students have always spoken out," former HISD teacher Lucia Moreno said.

Wednesday night's meeting was much like Tuesday's, leaving many community members feeling duped and empty-handed.

The TEA has two more community meetings scheduled for next week.

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