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About Our Campaign

We are a group of concerned educators, parents, and Houston Independent School District community members working together to end the Texas Education Agency's takeover of Houston public schools. Our goal is to return our public school district back to our citizens, and allow us to restore an elected school board. We believe that our public schools belong to the community and should be run by the community. Join us in our fight to protect our public schools!

We understand that our campaign goes beyond replacing the current appointed superintendent. This will be a long campaign to rewrite state law, mobilize community members, and work to replace appointed board members with truly elected leaders. There are many actions to take, and conversations to have. We are committed to this fight to protect public education in Houston ISD.

Thank you to our coalition partners at Community Voices for Public Education for sharing research and graphics for our collective campaign.


What We Stand For

We are a community campaign. #AllVoicesUnited


Restore an Elected School Board

State law details how a school district may be taken over; however, state law does not establish specific guidelines & timelines to restore a democratically elected school board. We must pass new state legislation and work to end the TEA takeover of Houston ISD. By restoring democracy, our community will once again have a real voice in the future of our students' futures.

Equity & Equality

Resources for All Students

Decisions made by and rubber stamped by the appointed Board of Managers have harmed students. Cuts have been made programs and services that assist homeless, autistic, dyslexic, ESL, and special education students. We must ensure that all students receive an equitable and adequate public education, which means that vital wrap-around programs must be restored and directed to those in need.


All Voices Should Be Heard

The appointed Board of Mangers is only accountable to the governor -- not the taxpayers of Houston ISD. Time and time again this Board has chosen to ignore the concerns of educators, parents, and citizens. Instead, the Board acts as a rubber stamp to unprecedented changes that harm HISD students. Restoring an elected school board will provide real accountablity.


Students Deserve Better

Prior to the state's takeover, Houston ISD was B+, outperforming many other districts across the state. A model of success was created through public dialogue, collaborative planning with educators and parents. We are committed to ensuring that every classroom has a certified teacher, students have access to libraries and librarians, and a robust curriculum is created by educators that engages students to meet their individual needs.

Key Facts About the TEA Takeover

How Texas Law was Manipulated to Orchestrate the HISD Takeover:

  • A 2015 TX law allows 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 2019, local control 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 took over HISD on June 1st, 2023:

  • In January 2023, the Republican controlled State Supreme Court overturned the injunction that blocked the takeover.

  • 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 at the time of the TEA takeover:

  • HISD was rated B+ on the state’s accountability rating and 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:

  • Mike Miles has stated that he will close schools. Expect them to be turned over to charter operators.

  • Charter schools purposefully under enroll students with disabilities

State takeovers don’t work; 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’s takeover Achievement School District, 24 out of 27 schools (88%) are still listed in the bottom 5% of schools ten years after takeover. 

  • Takeovers are discriminatory. 85% of state takeovers nationwide were majority Black or Latino student districts.

State takeover removes local control:

  • The unelected commissioner has full discretion to extend the takeover indefinitely. 

  • The state-appointed “board of managers” rubber stamp all policy decisions, with the TEA pulling the strings.

  • HISD’s democratically elected board only has a ceremonial role with no voting authority.

Current circumstances under the Houston ISD state takeover:

  • Worsening inequalities, mass teacher attrition and daily standardized testing STAAR prep. 

  • Superintendent Mike Miles with full support from the Texas Education Agency, eliminated librarians and libraries in 28-85 schools in under resourced Black and Brown communities and turned them into Zoom Discipline Centers.  

  • Dual language, band and fine arts have been gutted at the 85+ NES and NES-A schools. Students with disabilities and emerging bilinguals are not receiving services. No cozy reading nooks or class read alouds allowed

  • Miles terminates teachers who ask questions.Teachers in 28 NES schools had to reapply for their jobs. 

  • Teachers must perform checks for understanding every four minutes and children must take a daily test in every class even if material has not yet  been taught. They are forced to use typo-ridden, scripted test prep curriculum

  • Unelected board of managers unanimously approves every board policy change including waiving teacher certification requirements, supe can now write checks up to $1M daily without board approval

Timeline of the TEA Takeover

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