TEA Commissioner Mike Morath has yet to answer HISD teachers since takeover announcement

Pooja Lodhia Image
Thursday, April 6, 2023
Houston ISD takeover: Where is TEA Commissioner Mike Morath?
TEA commissioner Mike Morath has sole authority over the state takeover of HISD but hasn't attended a public meeting in Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Where is TEA Commissioner Mike Morath?

Morath has sole authority over the state takeover of the Houston Independent School District, but he hasn't attended even one public meeting in the city since the takeover was announced.

His staff confirms the commissioner met with HISD principals at the district's monthly meeting Wednesday morning.

Morath had other meetings scheduled for the rest of the day, but his staff said he was unavailable for an interview and didn't answer our question about who he's been meeting with.

READ MORE: TEA Commissioner Mike Morath not leading 4th final TEA meeting at Kashmere HS

According to the teacher's union, principals didn't even know he was coming to their meeting.

"We had sent someone over there. They were denied entry," Jackie Anderson, the president of the Houston Federation of Teachers, said. "You're choosing to meet with small groups, unidentified secret meetings, but you won't come to a public meeting."

Anderson said Morath had declined multiple union requests to meet with teachers and parents.

Houston-area NAACP leaders said Morath has also declined their multiple invitations.

Morath answered questions from Eyewitness News on the day the takeover was announced but hasn't again since.

SEE ALSO: TEA Commissioner Mike Morath assures parents that meetings will provide information on HISD takeover

"Since the commissioner believes his decision is right, then be transparent about it," Bishop James Dixon, the president of the Houston NAACP, said. "Have that conversation, and the fact that he's not having that conversation is making more and more people feel like there are things to hide."

Morath has sole authority to appoint the new superintendent and board of managers for HISD.

That application process closes Thursday, but parents and other stakeholders have not been able to ask him about the process directly.

"Perhaps this is an indication of how the board of managers would work with the superintendent that they choose and hire," Bishop Dixon said. "This is why democracy is important. We select board members so that we can have public discourse and conversation."

For more on this story, follow Pooja Lodhia on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram.