HISD board of trustees votes to end court battle against Texas Education Agency

Briana Conner Image
Friday, March 10, 2023
HISD ends legal fight to stop potential state takeover
With the threat of a state takeover looming, HISD is ending its legal battle with the Texas Education Agency.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The rumors of a state takeover in the Houston Independent School District are still just that. There's been no official announcement from the Texas Education Agency more than a week after Mayor Sylvester Turner said he believed it was imminent. There are, however, some new developments from the district's trustees and in Austin.

At Thursday's school board meeting, trustees said the battle with the state isn't over, but they did vote to end one aspect of the fight. The effort to stop the state from taking control of the courts is over. They said January's Texas Supreme Court decision left no avenue for a legal victory to preserve local control.

"We are now at the point where it is time for us to move forward. It is in our students and employees' best interest for us to end this lawsuit between HISD and TEA and navigate and build relationships between all parties involved," Trustee Dani Hernandez said.

SEE ALSO: 'Uncertainty looms': Houston ISD braces for possible state takeover

Lawmakers representing Houston, however, aren't letting up. A meeting with TEA Commissioner Mike Morath is set for next week. They've also filed new legislation that would give the agency other options aside from a complete takeover. Senate Bill 1662 releases the TEA from current requirements to close a school or replace the schoolboard due to underachievement.

Looking at the reality of few options left, Trustee Elizabeth Santos' emotions broke through.

"Our fight for Democracy and public education will never be over. It's time for the community to come together. We win by uniting our voices at the legislature, our neighborhood schools, and the ballot box," Santos said through tears.

SEE ALSO: Potential HISD takeover by Texas Education Agency comes with much precedent, warning

Kathy Bluford Daniels was the only trustee to vote against ending the court battle, which the majority of trustees agreed would not be the best use of district resources at this point.

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