TEA meetings end with Houston community members in uproar
HOUSTON - Following the announcement that the Texas Education Agency would be taking over the Houston Independent School District, the four community meetings held in Houston ended with turmoil and anger at every community meeting.
Parents and community members showed up in the hundreds to voice their displeasure, dislike, and overall disapproval of the TEA's decision to take over Houston ISD.
The meetings were met with chants including "TEA, go away," and "makeover, not takeover."
THE FIRST MEETING
During the first meeting, which was held last week, community members sat through the entire presentation that was delivered by TEA Deputy Commissioner Alejandro Delgado.
Within the meeting, parents and community members immediately began yelling and voicing their disagreement with the takeover of Houston ISD.
"This is not about the students, the teachers, not about the principal," said Delgado. "This is about the school board, and this is about a subset of schools and kids that have been chronically underperforming for years."
Parents accused some of the TEA members who were reviewing the questions of not asking the real questions that were being answered and chanted, "Pass us the mic."
As parents were continuing to try and get answers to their questions, U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee made a surprise appearance at the meeting and essentially hijacked the meeting from Delgado.
"I think that the TEA and the Governor should take into consideration the challenges that we overcame through the pandemic," said Lee. "We strongly oppose this approach."
THE SECOND MEETING
In the second meeting, which occurred at Chavez High School, it took only eight minutes before parents and community members took over. But with this meeting, they had an additional means of making their voices heard, with the use of a bullhorn.
Throughout the meeting, parents and concerned individuals began lining up to either ask questions of TEA Deputy Commissioner Alejandro Delgado or to voice their overall anger with the takeover.
Dr. Sergio Lira, a member of LULAC, spoke along with Spanish-speaking community members who argue TEA is not giving Hispanics a voice.
"It's about power, politics, and money," said Garcia. "My son and daughter graduated from this high school (Chavez). In the spirit of Cesar Chavez....he stood up against the establishment. I'm asking you to stand up against TEA!"
During the meeting, Delgado stated that the TEA wouldn't be running the district, to which parents and community members screamed, "Lies! You lie!"
When one attendee stepped up to the bullhorn, she asked whether or not the community would be allowed to request the replacement of a board of manager they believed was not listening to them or representing them, Delgado said, "I would encourage ya'll to continue these conversations."
That comment by Delgado was quickly and immediately met with anger and outrage as one attendee started screaming toward Delgado saying, "Be a Man! Be a Man!"
Also during the meeting, attendees demanded the presence of either TEA Commissioner Mike Morath or Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
Watch the full meeting below.
THE THIRD MEETING
The third meeting, which was moved to Delmar Stadium from a different location, almost immediately started with questions of TEA Deputy Commissioner Alejandro Delgado.
The location allowed parents and community members the use of a microphone (instead of a bullhorn) so all questions could be heard and understood.
SUGGESTED: Community members continue sharing their disdain for TEA takeover of Houston ISD
Within this meeting, questions were brought up stating that the TEA takeover was a financial move rather than for the kids.
Also, attendees again were frustrated screaming, "Where's Mike Morath? Where's your boss?"
The crowd pushed Delgado to provide a response other than "He couldn't be here tonight." However, that's the only response they got.
Watch the entire meeting below.
THE FINAL MEETING
During the final meeting at Kashmere High School, there were several heated exchanges amongst not just TEA officials, but also community members.
One attendee even stated that the TEA reminded them of the Ku Klux Klan as 'you went in and lynched the school district during Spring Break.'
Numerous comments were made about what could be done better to help the school district move forward. However, TEA officials said the takeover would be occurring with the selection of a Board of Managers and a superintendent.
Questions were also brought up about who would be selecting the Board of Managers of whether it would be an independent agency or TEA Commissioner Mike Morath.
Also, comments were made regarding the oversight of the Board of Managers.
You can watch the entire meeting below.