Several HISD board members are no-shows at Thursday night meeting

HOUSTON – A day after the state announced its takeover of the Houston Independent School District, a regularly scheduled board meeting to discuss future agenda items and a workshop was held Thursday.

Not only did no one from the public sign up to voice their concerns about the takeover, but also only four of the nine trustees and superintendent Grenita Lathan were physically in attendance. One trustee joined in by conference call.

An issue not discussed at all -- the largest public school takeover in state history.

"I think it was inevitable and really, it has to do with the decisions that current trustees have made," said Judith Cruz.

Cruz was one of only a few dozen people in attendance. She was elected Tuesday as the new trustee for District 8 -- a day before the Texas Education Agency announced the takeover.

Regardless of whether she is ever sworn in, Cruz said she plans to make a difference.

"Whether I am an elected trustee with voting power or not, I will absolutely be a voice for my community," she said. "I plan to be at every single board meeting. I plan to seek community input."

Also in attendance was another newly elected trustee -- Dani Hernandez from District 3. Hernandez said she has had communications with TEA members and is hopeful she and the other newly elected trustees can be part of the state-appointed board of managers for HISD.

"That way, it's a combination of what the state wants and what the community wants, and what the community has voted for," Hernandez said.

The next full, regularly-scheduled board meeting is set for Nov. 14.

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