What does the TEA takeover of Houston ISD look like moving forward?

Step-by-step explanation of what’s next in the state’s intervention

Houston – The next big day for the Texas Education Agency’s intervention of Houston ISD is June 1, when the commissioner announces the Board of Managers and superintendent.

But what happens once they are all in place?

The goal is to get the school district in shape to meet certain criteria before eventually handing it back to local control.

  • HISD will not have any multi-year failing campuses.
  • The special education program will operate in compliance with legal requirements.
  • Board procedures and conduct must be focused on student outcomes.

Once those conditions are met, the board of managers and superintendent will work to hand it back over to the board of trustees. Here’s that process:

TEA graphic on HISD takeover
  1. The goal is to have the conditions met in two years. If met, a third of the board of managers will be replaced with trustees.
  2. After some time, another third of the board will be replaced with trustees.
  3. This continues until the managers are replaced entirely by trustees.

Who are the Board of Managers?

The future of Houston ISD rests on a group of people who aren’t yet selected those are the state-appointed superintendent and a board of managers. The former TEA Commissioner Michael Williams says selecting the superintendent will be private. However, applications for the Board of Managers are open and close Thursday, August 6th.

The state website has the job description as such, “the core purpose of the Board of Managers is to improve student outcomes by representing the vision and values of the Houston ISD community where every Houston ISD student is to be prepared for college, career, or the military in a manner that is equitable, transparent, and efficient.”

Williams is the immediate past commissioner who oversaw multiple school takeovers and watched two districts close. He said he expects Commissioner Mike Morath to seat between seven and nine members.

“He’s going to want an array of talent some will have an education background some will have a business background, some will have a civics background, whatever,” Williams said. “He’s going to try to find the nine best people, he can, who are Houstonians to run that district and then he’s going to walk away.”


The Board of Managers should include some members who:

  • Are currently parents of HISD students
  • Have some verifiable history of success in public education, preferably in the greater Houston area
  • Have some background as a parent leader, a teacher leader, and/or a neighborhood leader
  • Have demonstrated success in community leadership
  • Have some background in social work, counseling, or psychology
  • Have some background in business, finance, and/or law
  • Ideally live throughout the 9 existing trustee districts

Williams says the role of the Board of Managers will be like the elected Board of Trustees. The members will work alongside the soon-to-be selected superintendent who will work towards Commissioner’s Morath’s charge.

“They’re going to be looking at ways to improve academic achievement,” Williams said. “They will be looking at ways to manage their relationship with the community. They’re going to be doing the exact same thing that trustees do, that that elected trustees do even though they are not elected but appointed by the commissioner.”

During the two-year process of the takeover, the Board of Managers and the Superintendent will be monitored by Houston ISD conservator, Doris Delaney, who had her authority expanded by Commissioner Morath in 2019.

She was present at some of the TEA community informational meetings.

Delaney will write the quarterly reports to Morath. Williams describes her as Morath’s “eyes and ears” in the district.

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