HISD board trustees to seek legal advice regarding state takeover

A day after the Texas Commissioner of Education announced the state will take over Houston ISD, the district is exploring potential options. 

Is there anything HISD can do at this point? Well the HISD board will meet with an attorney to seek legal advice because the 23-page letter from the Texas Education Commissioner changes just about everything for HISD. 

“I'm very sad about what's happened with HISD,” says HISD graduate Cindy Douglass. 

According to the letter, the district's accreditation is being lowered to "Accredited-Warned," as the letter explains "because the district exhibits serious or persistent deficiencies that may lead to the probation or revocation of the district's accreditation."

“I think HISD has done a pretty bad job in general. I have kids who are special needs.  With that population, in particular, they have underserved them tremendously,” says one dad who did not want to give his name. 

The letter states HISD "demonstrates a substantial and imminent threat to the welfare of the district's students... because the board of trustees is unable to govern the district." So the state will name a superintendent and is appointing a Board of Managers to replace HISD's board.

”I'm not a fan. I have a 5-year-old. That sucks. I don't think the state should have any control over the schools. We were going to move into HISD, so that'll change,” says Bre Gaterman. 

“I’m 71. My husband is 76. We went to HISD.  We got an excellent education, got through college, did great. So I'm just concerned about the kids,” adds Douglass. 

The state is citing seven years of consecutive “unacceptable” ratings at Wheatley High School and a dysfunctional school board, which is now getting four new members after the election. Dr. Sergio Lira, Jolanda Jones, Rhonda Skillern-Jones and Diana Davila will not be returning.

“I'm open to any changes right now, almost out of desperation to get these kids what they need,” says one dad. 

By the way, the elected HISD board will be in place but will not have voting power.

The commissioner's letter also talks about the potential to still shut down Wheatley High School. HISD has until November 20 to appeal the commissioner's decisions, but typically once the state goes this far, there's no turning back.