Posted 11 days ago
HOUSTON — Texas officials on Wednesday announced a state takeover of Houston’s nearly 200,000-student public school district, the eighth-largest in the country, acting on years of threats and angering Democrats who assailed the move as political.
The announcement, made by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s education commissioner, amounts to one of the largest school takeovers ever in the U. S.
It also deepens a high-stakes rift between Texas’ largest city, where Democrats wield control locally and state Republican leaders have sought increasing authority in the wake of election fumbles and pandemic restrictions.
Other big cities including Philadelphia, New Orleans and Detroit in recent decades have gone through state takeovers, which are generally viewed as last resorts for underperforming schools and are often met with community backlash. Critics argue that past outcomes show little improvement following state interventions.
The state began making moves toward a takeover of the Houston Independent School District in 2019, following allegations of misconduct by school trustees, including inappropriate influencing of vendor contracts, and chronically low academic scores at one of its roughly 50 high schools.... (Read more)