Houston ISD takeover: Federal lawsuit filed against TEA on behalf of HISD

A federal lawsuit has been filed against the Texas Education Agency after they announced they were taking over Houston's largest school district, reports say.

The Greater Houston Coalition for Justice announced on Thursday they were filing a federal third-party complaint of discrimination filed with the US Department of Education against the State of Texas, the T.E.A., and Governor Greg Abbott on behalf of the Houston Independent School District.

SUGGESTED: Elected officials, school staff, parents, students vow to fight TEA takeover of Houston ISD

"We feel that they have violated civil right acts under Title VI," said Johnny Mata with the Coalition during their press conference. The organization said the TEA is discriminating against HISD in deciding to take over control of HISD's elected Board of Trustees.

The Coalition also says they will seek congressional investigations and hearings into allegations of TEA's pattern and systematic discrimination against minority school districts in Texas.

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If an investigation reveals allegations the TEA is discriminating against HISD, a minority school district, but provides special treatment to other state majority-white school districts, the U.S. Department of Education should impose monetarily sanctioned sanctions against the State of Texas and TEA for current and past discrimination, the Coalition says.

"We're here to ensure that the rights of the people are being fully explored. That we have every option to ensure that the voice of the parents, the teachers, the community advocates, the agencies the organizations that are assembled here, many others that are not, but support and stand for opportunities for all to be heard. That we take this additional step to ensure that all voices are heard," said President of Houston Area Urban League Judson W. Robinson III.