Here is a one pager on the history and harmful impact of state takeovers. En español aqui. Đơn khởi kiện bằng tiếng Việt tại đây. 在这里用中文请愿。 Petisyon sa Tagalog dito. 한국어 청원은 여기!

Join parents and teacher across the district to oppose the takeover of Houston ISD by an appointed Board of Managers that are not democratically elected. Sign the petiton today
en español aqui.  

What will happen? 

  • Takeovers worsen inequities, increase teacher turnover and force our children to do even more STAAR prep. 
  • Schools with D/F ratings will be shuttered or chartered, under-enrolling students w/disabilities to inflate A-F ratings.
  • The takeover will negatively impact everyone; our tax dollars will be spent on costly consultants; the state will require HISD to use scripted curriculum (Eureka/Amplify);& there’s less likelihood of a bond to replace aging schools.

State takeovers worsen student academic outcomes and school district operations.

  • Wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars occurs under state takeovers. A 2019 report on the results of the Detroit takeover found roughly $610 million in wasteful spending and rampant mismanagement when under state control. 
  • In Tennessee, 24 of the 27 schools (88%) in Tennessee’s takeover Achievement School District are still listed in the bottom 5% of schools ten years after takeover. 
  • Takeovers are discriminatory. Nearly 85 percent of the districts that have been taken over by their states have had majority Black or Latino student populations. 

State takeover removes local control.

  • The unelected commissioner has full discretion to extend the takeover indefinitely. 
  • The state-appointed “board of managers” will make all policy decisions, with the TEA pulling the strings.
  • HISD’s democratically elected board would only have a ceremonial role with no voting authority.

Why is HISD under threat of a takeover?

  • A 2015 TX law allows a state takeover of the whole district if even one campus is rated “F” on the STAAR for five years.
  • One school (Wheatley HS) was in that category in 2019 and the Texas Education Agency attempted to take over Houston ISD. The state also raised issues with actions by some HISD Board members.
  • HISD challenged the takeover, upheld in 2020 in court twice, and the takeover was delayed.

Since then, local control has worked as it’s meant to work.

  • Voters elected an almost entirely new HISD School Board.
  • HISD’s efforts to improve performance at Wheatley paid off. Wheatley was rated “C” in 2022.

But the state still plans to take over HISD.

  • In January 2023, the Republican State Supreme Court overturned the injunction that blocked the takeover.
  • The governor is using any pretext to take away local control to privatize public education.
  • It’s no coincidence that Gov Abbott is selling vouchers with one hand and taking over HISD with the other. 

Houston ISD is NOT a failing district.

  • HISD is rated B+ on the state’s accountability rating and is AAA bond-rated.
  • 256 (94%) of its 273 campuses are rated A, B or C.
  • 96 (35%) of its 273 campuses are A-rated. HISD ranks above Dallas ISD and is in the top half of TX districts.

Takeover opens the door to privatization and discrimination. 

  • In 2021, Wheatley HS served more than twice as many special education students and close to twice as many at risk students as YES Prep, just 1.1 miles away.
  • YES Prep accepts significantly less vulnerable students compared to Wheatley which accepts and educates all students. Charter schools often purposefully under enroll students with disabilities
  • Should this occur in Houston following a takeover, the state will likely take the credit in its accountability shell game.