New HISD superintendent announces new principals, says more staffing changes to come

Pooja Lodhia Image
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
HISD moves closer to finalizing big changes before back to school
New Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles announces new principals since Texas' takeover, saying there are more staffing changes to come.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Independent School District is moving closer to finalizing big changes since the state's takeover before school starts in the fall.

Newly appointed Superintendent Mike Miles met with about 80 concerned parents, teachers, and activists on Tuesday, announcing new principals and policies for several historically low-performing schools.

It was the first of HISD's "family events," and after months of meetings that have been interrupted by protesting, the superintendent called Tuesday night "productive."

Miles answered questions and concerns for an hour and a half, using slides showing poor student performance to explain changes to schools.

"We are actually trying to support underserved communities," Miles said.

"It's not always about just talking. What are our actions? There need to be actions in place to get things done," one HISD parent, Paula Kobina, said.

Forest Brook Middle is one of 28 schools Miles is targeting as part of what he calls the "New Education System," which includes North Forest, Wheatley, and Kashmere High and the middle and elementary schools that feed into them.

Miles announced the principals that will now be in charge of these 28 schools.

Seventeen of them are returning this year, but 11 of the principals will be new.

"Of the 21 principals who did apply, 17 were accepted, and four were not. Which I think is pretty telling," Miles said.

He said teachers at New Education System schools will be in place by the end of the week.

They will be paid more than other teachers in the district, with an average compensation of $96,000.

Miles said the salaries will be partially paid for with layoffs at the district's office.

But perhaps most jarring at the HISD meeting was the lack of protesting as Miles spoke.

Jeremy Eugene, who we last saw in handcuffs, being removed from an HISD workshop meeting, was back.

"My lawyer told me not to speak about that too much, but what I will say about that meeting is that I didn't get to address the situation that I was going to speak about, which is the magnet programs," he said.

John Robinson, with the Houston Area Urban League, spoke directly to HISD parents and activists in attendance, urging them to get involved in Miles' planned overhaul of the district.

"Let's get behind this man, this board, and let's give our babies a chance to be great," Robinson said.

Miles responded, "I don't know if there was a question, but my only response is 'Amen.'"

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