Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza to head NYC school system

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After just 564 days as superintendent of Houston ISD, Richard Carranza is departing for the Big Apple.

Carranza's parking space at HISD headquarters was empty. That's because he is in New York, where he took part in a surprise press conference Monday afternoon where Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Carranza as the city's new chancellor of schools.

School board trustee Wanda Adams said she was very surprised by the revelation, but understands his position.

Adams said she and other school board members were completely caught off guard.

"None of us had an idea, but in this instance, anyone who is applying for the job, we don't tell our employer that we're leaving so we know we have until we know we have the job, so we can kind of understand that a little bit," Adams said. "We are supportive of his decision and we wish him well on the board."

Board members caught off guard by HISD supe's departure
EMBED More News Videos

School board member Wanda Adams said she was shocked by news HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza was leaving Houston for New York.

Carranza joined HISD in August 2016 with a three year, $345,000 base contract. His New York contract will be the same amount.

Mayor de Blasio said he first made contact with Carranza about a month ago, that he called Carranza Wednesday to say he'd chosen the superintendent from Miami.

The next day, that super from Miami backed out. Mayor de Blasio says he called Carranza back and flew him to New York City on Saturday to meet. He made an offer Sunday night, and Carranza immediately accepted.

WATCH: Mayor de Blasio introduces Carranza to New Yorkers
EMBED More News Videos

NYC mayor introduces Richard Carranza to head NYC school system

The move comes in the wake of Houston's school district facing an estimated $115 million shortfall next year.

"I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my school board in Houston, Texas, who gave me an opportunity to come to Houston and serve," Carranza said during the press conference. "I owe a great debt of gratitude to Mayor Sylvester Turner in Houston who was a true partner, and I want to thank them for the opportunity."

Not everyone is so supportive of Carranza's new job.

Wreatha Johnson, president of Houston Education Support Personnel Union, represents blue collar workers in HISD. She feels this comes at the worst time, as the district tries to handle the budget crisis.

The board plans to hold an official news conference tomorrow. Adams says Carranza hasn't officially turned in his resignation, notating a start date in New York.

"So if he comes back to Houston, we will be having a conversation with him, but with the board as a whole," Adams said.

WATCH: Mayor de Blasio on what Carranza brings to New York
EMBED More News Videos

De Blasio calls him an "educators educator"

Before coming to Houston, Carranza was superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District for four years.

"We the board wish Carranza the best in his endeavors and appreciate the leadership he brought to this district," said HISD President Rhonda Skillern-Jones. "We are committed to continuing the work he began and moving the district forward."
The board will meet on Thursday to discuss next steps.

FULL INTERVIEW: HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza addresses district's issues with Eyewitness News
EMBED More News Videos

Richard Carranza full interview

RELATED: Houston ISD postpones decision on staffing cuts
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.