Author Topic: TEA investigative report cites misconduct, recommends replacement of HISD board  (Read 305 times)

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Offline Elderberry

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Houston Chronicle by  Jacob Carpenter Aug. 6, 2019

Texas Education Agency officials have recommended that a state-appointed governing team replace Houston ISD’s locally elected school board after a six-month investigation found several instances of alleged misconduct by some trustees, including violations of the Texas Open Meetings Act, inappropriate influencing of vendor contracts and making false statements to investigators.

The recommendation and findings, issued by TEA Special Investigations Unit Director Jason Hewitt, will not become final until HISD officials have had an opportunity to respond. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, who leads the agency, ultimately will decide whether to oust HISD’s school board. HISD officials have until Aug. 15 to respond, and Morath likely would issue a final decision in the following weeks.

In his recommendation, Hewitt wrote that HISD trustees should be replaced by a state-appointed board due to their “demonstrated inability to appropriately govern, inability to operate within the scope of their authority, circumventing the authority of the superintendent, and inability to ensure proper contract procurement laws are followed.”

The Chronicle reviewed a copy of the report Wednesday. It is not a public document.

The 34-page document, sent to HISD trustees and Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan on Monday, outlines the state’s case for wresting local governing control from Texas’ largest school district, which educates nearly 210,000 children in more than 280 schools.

TEA officials have ousted several Texas school boards in recent years, including those in Beaumont and El Paso ISDs, but have never removed local control from a district as large as Houston ISD.

The takeovers of other school districts often followed extensive financial mismanagement, corruption or district-wide academic turmoil. HISD remains on solid financial footing and received the equivalent of a “B” grade for academic performance in 2018.

The possibility of losing local control over the district has loomed over HISD for months, as news of the investigation became public and the district faced possible sanctions tied to chronically low-performing schools. Leading education and community organizations have been split on whether to embrace state intervention, which could help heal years of division among HISD board members, but at the cost of surrendering local control to Texas bureaucrats.

The odds of HISD facing replacement of the district’s school board are heightened by the fact that TEA officials already have placed a conservator in the district for the past three years due to poor academic outcomes at several schools. The appointment of a conservator is the third-most severe intervention, followed by installation of a board of managers and closure of a school district.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican and frequent critic of HISD’s school board, said he had read the report and is “nearly 100 percent certain” the board will be replaced by state appointees.


Offline IsailedawayfromFR

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That did not take long

Shift turns leadership on HISD board Hispanic  By Defender News Service - January 23, 2019
“no punishment, in my opinion, is too great, for the man who can build his greatness upon his country's ruin” ~  George Washington

Offline Elderberry

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I am in Pasadena School District right on the west edge. The house across the street from me is in HISD.

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