The Houston ISD board decided last Monday not to file a final appeal against the TEA takeover in a close vote. Some trustees argued that the measurement was a waste of money.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the board voted to end the lawsuit against the TEA earlier this month with a result of 5-4. The HISD had the option to appeal against the TEA as a last effort for preventing state intervention. These appeals are held by a committee the commissioner selects.
Some trustees believed the appeal was worth taking, as it would have given the board one more opportunity to fight the decision.
“When it was time to give up the legal fight because we didn’t have a legal basis to continue, I was on board with that,” Trustee Myrna Guidry said to the Houston Chronicle. “This is an appeal that is given by the commissioner himself, giving us one more opportunity … The outcome is on the commissioner, but I believe we should take the appeal so we as a board have done everything we possibly can.”
The Texas Education Agency’s takeover plans were met with opposition from the community, with some arguing that the minority-majority had earned a B which is higher than many districts that are not under the same level of scrutiny from the state agency.
“I’ve heard the voice of the people. I’ve been to the community meetings. My opinion as a trustee is to listen to the voice of the people,” Trustee Patricia Allen said. “This is not a ‘must’ on the part of the commissioner. We can appeal and the commissioner can decide.”
However, other trustees felt the legal consulting for the appeal would be a waste of money. “It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and causes instability in the school district,” said Trustee Kendall Baker.
Finally, the Board President Dani Hernandez said they were ready for a transition: “Whether we file an appeal or not, there is no change in the outcome. It’s time to make a smooth transition.”