Hundreds of Houstonians Have Applied to Serve as Part of the Houston ISD Board of Managers


Community feedback sessions continue as TEA proceeds to the next phase of the board member selection process

AUSTIN, Texas – April 7, 2023 – The Texas Education Agency (TEA) today announced a key milestone in the Houston Independent School District (ISD) Board of Managers application and selection process with 374 applications submitted by Thursday, April 6th. During this selection process, which has been and will continue to be informed by community feedback, TEA is looking for Houstonians with a wide array of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives who believe all children can learn and achieve at high levels when properly supported and who can work together as a governance team. These will be individuals living in Houston ISD, who are invested in their community, and are committed to laying the foundation for long-term success for the district. 

“I am looking for Houstonians with wisdom and integrity who can be laser-focused on what is best for students,” said Texas Education Commissioner, Mike Morath. “It is exciting to see so many Houstonians express a willingness to help move the school system forward in service of students.”

Applications came from Houstonians of all backgrounds.  

  • 374: Total Applications
  • 345: Total Applications within HISD Boundaries
  • 232: Applications from parents of current/former HISD students
  • 136: Applications from individuals who previously attended an HISD school
  • 238: Applications from individuals who worked as a teacher and/or for a school system

Breakdown of Applications by Race

African American 40%
Asian 5%
Hispanic 10%
White 33%
Other 12%

Breakdown of Applications by Trustee District

District I 14%
District II 9%
District III 4%
District IV 18%
District V 15%
District VI 7%
District VII 13%
District VIII 10%
District IX 11%

The vetting process for Board of Managers candidates now moves into the next phase: preliminary applicant screening. The process as a whole includes detailed applicant reviews, community reference checks, background checks, trainings, and interviews.

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Even while preliminary applicant screening of the existing application pool moves forward, TEA is opening an additional application window to allow more Houstonians to consider serving students, families, and the Houston community. The application can be found on the TEA Board of Managers page: 

Background of Agency Intervention and Board of Managers Process

TEA began gathering feedback on what the Houston community wanted to see with the district’s direction and governing body in 2019, when state intervention first became mandatory under state law. Even while mandatory intervention was on hold due to court injunction, community feedback conversations continued. Over the last few months, the Commissioner and TEA staff have held regular meetings with Houstonians as the Board of Managers selection process began anew.

The Commissioner’s goal is to select nine individuals from the applicant pool to serve as members of the Board of Managers. Members of the Board of Managers must reside within the boundaries of Houston ISD. Additional information about the job description and qualifications can be found here. To be considered for the Board of Managers, all interested Houstonians must complete the new application process, participate in Lone Star Governance training, and engage in both virtual and observational interviews. These requirements apply both to applicants that applied in 2019 and all new applicants. 
On March 15th, Commissioner Morath announced TEA’s intent to appoint a Board of Managers for Houston ISD, an action required under the bipartisan law House Bill (HB) 1842, passed in 2015 by the Texas legislature. Until a Board of Managers is appointed on or after June 1st, Houston ISD will continue to be governed by the elected Board of Trustees. Once appointed, the Board of Managers will work in collaboration with the new superintendent to ensure that Houston ISD educators and staff have the necessary tools and resources at their disposal to facilitate student success in the classroom and beyond. 

As part of their duties as the governing body of HISD, The Board of Managers will also provide strategic leadership and oversight of the new superintendent. This will involve getting feedback from multiple district stakeholders, working to improve support for teachers, getting schools the resources they need, and laying a foundation for success for students in the district. 

In addition, the Board of Managers will work with the new superintendent to accomplish the exit criteria set forth by TEA that must occur before the transition back to the elected board. Specifically, the exit criteria that address the underlying causes for intervention include no multi-year failing campuses; a special education program in full compliance with all state and federal statutory requirements; and evidence of improved governance that demonstrates procedures and behavior focused on improved outcomes for all students in Houston ISD.

The Houston ISD Board of Managers will hold public board meetings and has the same legal requirements and obligations as the elected Board of Trustees. This includes holding all meetings in public, allowing for public comment, holding public hearings, and posting all required budget and tax information for public review and discussion.   
Since 2000, there have been seven previous Board of Managers placements to temporarily operate school districts in Texas (see last slide here). Some were placed to address financial issues, others to address academic issues. In all seven cases, the issues that led to the placement were successfully resolved by the Board of Managers. In six of the districts, academic achievement increased, even when the reason for placement was financial. In the seventh district, academic achievement remained steady while financial issues that necessitated the Board of Managers’ placement were resolved.

The largest Board of Managers placement to date has been in El Paso ISD, a district with 50,000 students. Two Board of Managers placements have been ordered as a result of HB 1842: Shepherd ISD (2019) and Houston ISD (2019).