June 1, 2023 -- Please attribute the following statement to Mayor Sylvester Turner:
I have been very straightforward in my position that the state takeover of HISD is not in the best interest of the students and staff of HISD. Even with the announcement of a Superintendent and Board of Managers, most of whom I do not know, my position has not changed.
This process has been flawed and anti-democratic from the very beginning. There has been minimal community engagement and very little transparency. The named Superintendent and Board of Managers were chosen behind closed doors by the state with little or no input from parents, teachers, or local community leaders.
I do not question the desire of those persons to do their very best on behalf of HISD. Still, they are being asked to address deficiencies and budgetary shortfalls without any additional resources coming from the state. In fact, the student population has steadily declined amidst all of this talk of a takeover by the state, which equates to a further loss of state financial support, not to mention the alarming exodus of tenured and experienced executive staff from HISD as a result of the incoming Administration, which will also have a detrimental impact on the students and remaining staff of HISD.
General Colin Powel told President Bush that if you invade Iraq, you will own it. The state has chosen to take over HISD, the largest school district in Texas, and it now owns it and has the responsibility of seeing that every one of the 274 schools is academically performing and given the resources needed to meet the needs of every student.
Anything less only adds to the distrust that already exists between the state and local units of government.