(CNN) Leaders of the Houston Independent School District, one of the largest school districts in Texas and one of the nation’s largest, will be replaced by a new board appointed by the state education commissioner, the district said Wednesday.
The Texas Education Agency intends to replace the district’s superintendent and board of education trustees “in the next few months,” the current board of education said in a statement.
Intervention is done under state law that allows the state to eliminate district boards whose schools fail to meet certain state standards.
The acquisition was “complicated, but it was unexpected,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.
Millard House II, who will be superintendent starting in 2021, said the move “does not discount the successes we have had across the district. I am confident that our educators and staff will continue to do the work necessary to ensure positive student outcomes at every level.”
The state teachers union expressed outrage over the decision.
The Texas Institute of Education “has lost all room at this point to be judgmental or to be an example for any of us to follow,” Texas American Federation of Teachers President Jeff Gabo said at a news conference.
“The state and its officials are now responsible for more than 180,000 students and 25,000 school employees,” Capo said. “For them, at this point I have no choice but to wish them well and hope they win. But make no mistake, we’ll be watching their every move.”
Such takeovers are not unheard of, but they are not common, according to Domingo Moral, associate professor of political science and public service at New York University and author of “Takeover: Race, Education and American Democracy,” which focuses on the issue.
“We have 10,000 school districts in this country, and there are only about 110 or so,” Morell told CNN, including Newark, New Jersey, Detroit and Philadelphia.