Mayor Turner's Statement on TEA Takeover of the Houston Independent School District
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March 15, 2023 ~ Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has spoken out against the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) takeover of the Houston Independent School District (HISD). During a news conference on March 15, 2023, Mayor Turner expressed his disappointment with the lack of community engagement and transparency in the process.

"This does not make good sense," he said. "And if the focus is on the kids, then you tell me how this benefits the kids."

Mayor Turner also noted that significant progress had been made in HISD under its current superintendent and school board. Forty of 50 former D or F-rated schools are now in a much better status. He argued that taking over 275 other schools was not a reward for success.

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"This takeover is not about the quality of education," he said. "If you look at the Texas Legislature, several bills have been filed to pre-empt the authority of local jurisdictions like HISD."

Mayor Turner also criticized TEA for already deciding who would be appointed as HISD's new superintendent without any community engagement or transparency. He suggested that TEA was using students as pawns in their own political agenda.

"This is about Austin and the leadership in Austin wanting to run local government, and they want it their way," he said. "This takeover is not about the kids, and the sad part is that they are using the kids for their own politics."

Mayor Turner concluded by emphasizing parents' right to have a say in what happens with their children's schools. He urged TEA to provide more transparency and community engagement in order to ensure that students receive an equitable education.

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