TEXAS, USA — State Representative Ron Reynolds says if it can happen in the Houston Independent School District, it can happen to any district in the state of Texas.
And the Democrat from Houston says the Texas Education Agency’s effort to assume control of HISD is a “hostile takeover.”
“This is a power grab. This is, unfortunately, partisan politics at its worst. And our kids in HISD and our teachers, in my opinion, are going to suffer,” Rep. Reynolds told us on Inside Texas Politics.
The TEA confirmed recently that it will replace the district’s superintendent and democratically elected school board after June 1 with a board of managers.
Rep. Reynolds, who chairs the Texas Legislative Black Caucus, says it’s nothing more than the state taking over a majority Black and Brown district run by Democrats to be replaced by folks who support GOP legislative efforts, such as vouchers, private schools and the removal of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.
The TEA says the takeover is primarily based on years of poor academic performance at one HISD campus, Phillis Wheatley High School, and allegations of misconduct from some school board members.
But Rep. Reynolds and others argue that HISD and Wheatley High School have made substantial improvements and progress over the last couple of years.
That includes the high school jumping from an “F” to a “C” in the most recent TEA ratings. And HISD overall now has a “B” rating.
Rep. Reynolds says it’s unacceptable for the district to be taken over for one school and he fears for other districts across the state.
“It’s certainly a slippery slope. And if it happens to HISD, it could happen to other districts as well,” said the Democrat. “This is unprecedented. HISD is just the start. I believe other districts will likely happen in the near future.”