The Texas Supreme Court handed down a decision Friday morning (Jan. 13) reversing a court of appeals’ temporary injunction and clearing the way for the Texas Education Agency to take over Houston ISD — while kicking the larger issues in the ongoing case back to the trial court.
There was no immediate word from HISD or the TEA about what will follow and whether a board of managers will be appointed to replace the elected board of education and a conservator named to replace Supt. Millard House II.
Most observers had not expected a decision this early in the year, with arguments closing last October. The case, though, had been active since 2018 when a damning report on chronic underperforming HISD schools and the actions of its school board followed a TEA investigation.
HISD was able to get an injunction to prevent a takeover, claiming the school board whose actions TEA found dysfunctional has been completely replaced, the district hired House to a position that had changed hands and been in interim status for an extended period, and that school performance has improved.
In Friday’s 22-page decision, signed by Associate Justice Jane Bland, the change in circumstances was acknowledged: “We expect the parties to reconsider their positions and supplement the record in light of changes in the law and factual developments within the District. We remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”