At last Thursday's rally, about 150 students, teachers, parents, community leaders, and elected officials stood together in solidarity to oppose the HISD state takeover. Our message was heard loud and clear, but the work has just begun.
Democracy matters. As the Houston Chronicle points out, HISD has reversed several decisions after the community spoke out against them. As HISD parent Allison Newport explains "All of these kinds of things are evidence of a school board working as it should. It provides an additional level of oversight and local accountability. We probably wouldn't see those decisions being walked back with the TEA being the judge, jury, and executioner."
HISD parents, students, teachers, community, and elected officials spoke out at the rally against the state takeover.
- Elizabeth, HISD senior: “I am here to represent my community and show that students care about what is happening. We do not want this takeover.”
- Kourtney, HISD Parent: “For too many years, the state has given us less funding and less everything than people in my community need. The only thing the governor has given us is year-round test prep that the state calls “mandatory tutorials and now this takeover. You can have that back."
- State Rep. Gene Wu: “We will not fix every single social problem while the state continues to underpay teachers, while the state continues to underfund schools. We know there are schools that are still struggling, but we can’t fix centuries of discrimination in five years.”
We cannot let Governor Abbott and TEA strip away our vote and voice, especially when the move makes zero sense. HISD has a B+ academic rating and, as Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia said, “It would be a disservice at best, and a disaster at worst, to force a state takeover on Houston schoolchildren, knowing that it didn’t improve achievement in the El Paso and Beaumont school districts or in dozens of districts around the country.”
If Gov Abbott really cared about our children, he would use the $33 billion surplus to increase funding & services for our schools. Instead, he is trying to take over the B+ rated HISD on the flimsiest of pretexts so he can use HISD as a guinea pig to privatize public education. Don’t let him dismantle public education.
The very worst thing one could do to help students recovering from the harmful effects of COVID is to start some other new thing, leading to more principal and teacher churn and kids having strangers teach them.
Our children need your help! Will you sign this petition and share it with your elected officials today?
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