Texas School Funding Debate: Inquiry sought into Houston ISD Superintendent's charter school ties

Is the state planning to investigate claims of Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles funneling Texas taxpayer dollars to charter schools he founded out of state?

HISD Superintendent Mike Miles says he welcomes a TEA or any investigation and despite Superintendent Miles releasing a statement addressing the accusations, several people are calling for an investigation into these claims.

SUGGESTED: Houston ISD Superintendent Mike Miles funneling money to Colorado charter schools accusations addressed

"The legislature needs to study the allegations, conduct an investigation, and if there's a loophole in those laws that allows Texas tax dollars to go out of state, that loophole needs to be closed, and those tax dollars need to remain in Texas," says Clay Robison with the Texas State Teacher's Association. Robison said, "If it is technically legal, it needs to be made illegal. A law needs to be passed to put a stop to it."

Robison is referring to claims that millions of dollars meant to fund Texas public schools is being passed on to Third Future Schools, a charter network founded by Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles which is headquartered in Colorado.

"Texas public education funding needs to remain in Texas, not go out of state, particularly at a time when school districts around Texas have budget deficits, including Houston," says Robison.

State Representative Ana Hernandez sent a letter to Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath asking for an investigation, "into the alarming allegations regarding Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles' use of state funds to pay for out of state school debts."

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"That's outrageous. I think Houston Independent School District has a budget shortfall of more than $400 million and Mike Miles intends to lay off many quality, very good educators and that should not happen," says Robison.

Superintendent Miles is strongly denying he did anything wrong and admits administrative fees were paid to the charter school central office in Colorado, but he says, "This is common practice for charters...and is not only allowed but anticipated by Texas education law."

Miles also says when you operate in more than one state, money "legitimately" goes to headquarters to pay things like salaries. You can see Superintendent Miles' entire statement on our website, as well as a response from the Texas Education Agency and also a reply from Third Future Schools, which begins with this sentence in bold letters, "No Texas funds have ever been diverted to subsidize schools in Colorado."