Texas’ takeover of Houston schools draws Congressional scrutiny

The Biden administration is being asked to open a civil rights investigation into Wednesday’s decision by the Texas Education Agency to stage a state takeover of Houston Independent School District, the state’s largest and most diverse system whose school board was often at odds with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Texas Democrat who represents parts of Harris County, including most of Houston, called for the Biden administration to investigate the takeover, telling U.S. News in an interview that her office, along with the offices of Democratic state legislators in Austin, have sent reams of data and information to the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which is in the process of reviewing the material.

Commissioner Mike Morath announced Wednesday that a new board of managers will take control of the 195,000-student district no later than June 1 and that he plans to appoint a new superintendent in the coming weeks. In a letter to district leaders, Morath cited five years of poor academic performance at a single high school and the need to appoint a conservator for two consecutive years to ensure improvements as the reasons for his decision.

Read more from U.S. News & World Report.


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