Press Release

Educators Laud Temporary Injunction to Stop State Takeover of Houston Schools

For Release: 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Zeph Capo

HOUSTON—Statement from Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers and Texas AFT, and Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on Travis County District Court Judge Catherine Mauzy’s ruling today that temporarily blocks Texas from taking control of the Houston Independent School District:

Capo said:

“We’re thrilled that the judge sees the harm that would be caused to Houston schools and students if there were an immediate takeover of the Houston Independent School District. The state wanted to make a very quick and consequential move—which we contend is unwarranted and illegal—that the judge rightly said would cause irreparable harm if made prematurely.

“Seizing control of the state’s largest school district, which earned a B+ state rating last year, is an extraordinary power grab that should get a full hearing before the court, as Judge Mauzy has ruled. We will fight this takeover plan with everything we have to ensure that the newly elected school board is permitted to do its job and that all Houston public schools get the funding and other resources they need for our students to succeed.”

Weingarten said:

“The judge made clear that the best interests of children and of the community that represents them are more important than Commissioner of Education Mike Morath’s power grab. She recognized what’s clear as day: Houston public schools have shown real progress, and the Texas Education Agency can’t simply ignore that progress and use a ruse to take over HISD. The takeover would disenfranchise the community, and it has the potential to create real harm and disruption to Houston’s students.

“This is a massive victory for the students, parents and educators in the Houston Independent School District and for the entire Houston community. Judge Mauzy has temporarily stopped this abuse of power in its tracks and made clear that a state takeover isn’t actually putting the needs of Houston’s students and schools first.”

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The AFT represents 1.7 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.