'There is not a lot of transparency': NAACP hosts community meeting on TEA takeover of Houston ISD

Monday, March 27, 2023

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Texas Education Agency has been hosting community meetings to answer questions about the state's takeover of Houston Independent School District.

It's by far the largest district the state has taken over.

As Eyewitness News has reported, it's a controversial decision. One that will be the subject of yet another community discussion Sunday afternoon.

There have been two meetings so far. One at Westbury High School, and at Chavez High School.

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

The meeting at Chavez HS became unruly within 10 minutes. The audience was jeering and protesting TEA's deputy commissioner, and a bullhorn was used to let their voices be heard.

The meetings are also meant to address questions about the application process for the board of managers that will replace HISD's superintendent and trustees temporarily during this takeover.

The TEA was planning on taking formal questions at Chavez HS, but they couldn't get to that point as a result of the meeting going off the rails.

"Most of it was a protest. I would love to have heard more answers to how the process how was going to happen," one attendee told ABC13.

"There is not a lot of transparency, so I don't know think there can be a conversation until TEA is open with us," another attendee said.

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

On Sunday at 3 p.m., the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is hosting a meeting at the Community of Faith Church located at 1024 Pinemont Dr.

The third TEA-hosted meeting is being moved to Delmar Stadium at HISD on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. before the final one on Thursday at Kashmere High School.

So what's going to happen when the takeover is done?

The Texas Education Agency will replace the current school board and Superintendent Millard House II with people of its choosing on June 1.

What happens next is up to the new board and superintendent, which the TEA hasn't announced.

The TEA is currently taking applications to fill the board of managers, which will replace the current school board.

The agency said it's going to hire people for those roles who live in HISD's jurisdiction.

SEE ALSO: Looming HISD state takeover raises concerns about impact on communities of color

TEA officials said they're looking for include parents of HISD students, people with backgrounds in finance and law, and people with past success in public education.

The ability for the TEA to take over a district due to academic performance came from a 2015 piece of legislation by Rep. Harold Dutton, D-Houston, who stands by it.

"They don't want to be subject to a takeover, then don't have failing schools. They could do that, but they didn't do that," Dutton said.

Houston Federation of Teachers President Jackie Anderson says it's an overreach.

"It was a hostile takeover, and it is a severe threat to democracy," Anderson said.

But before anything becomes official, there are plenty of questions left for families, teachers and staff. Send ABC13 your questions and concerns, and we'll do our best to get answers.

Upcoming TEA- hosted meetings

All of the meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 7:30 p.m.

  • Wednesday, March 29, 2023: Delmar Stadium at 2020 Mangum Road, Houston 77092
  • Thursday, March 30, 2023: Kashmere High School auditorium at 6900 Wileyvale, Houston 77028