Greg Abbott Reaches Limit, Takes Control of Houston Independent School District

Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott has reached his limit with an underperforming school district in his state and will step in and take control.

The leaders of the largest school district in Texas, the Houston Independent School District (HISD), will be replaced by a new board appointed by the state Commissioner of Education.

The Texas Education Agency will replace the district’s superintendent and board of education trustees “in the next few months,” because the schools are failing to meet state standards.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the move is “troubling, but it’s not unexpected.”

A letter was sent to the Houston Independent School District that said in part: “This action is necessitated because of the conditions of the schools in Houston ISD.

“Houston has many schools that are outstanding, some of the best schools in the state, and in fact, large numbers of kids in Houston are truly flourishing.

“But there’s also a number of students in Houston ISD who the district is simply not provided adequate supports for those students to be successful, and in some cases, for extended periods of time.”

Millard House II, who has been superintendent since 2021, said the move “does not discount the gains we have made district-wide.

“I am confident our educators and staff will continue to do the necessary work to ensure positive student outcomes at every level.”

The teacher’s union was not happy with the move, however.

Texas American Federation of Teachers President Zeph Capo trashed the agency taking control of the failing schools, saying it “has lost at this point all space to judge or to be a model that any of the rest of us should follow.”

Houston ISD said in a statement:

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“HISD has received official notice that the Texas Education Agency intends to replace Houston ISD’s superintendent and elected trustees of the Board of Education with an appointed superintendent and board of managers in the next few months.

“The Board is reviewing this notice to determine next steps.

“In the meantime, our great schools remain open and committed to providing a meaningful educational experience for all students.

“The District’s top priority is, and will continue to be, student outcomes,” the statement said.

“The Board hopes that TEA has a clear and transparent process for this announced transition that is communicated to the community and the District.

“The Board, in partnership with District Administration, will work with the Commissioner of Education to create a smooth transition for the sake of all HISD students, staff, and families.”

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By David Hawkins

David Hawkins is a writer who specializes in political commentary and world affairs. He's been writing professionally since 2014.

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