Education News

With Crowded Field for HISD Elections, Governance Top Campaign Issue

In some ways the future of the board itself rides on the election. That’s because HISD could get a state-appointed board of managers next year if it doesn’t improve chronically failing schools.

Almost all of the 19 candidates for the HISD board of trustees participated in a forum held by Children at Risk this week.
Almost all of the 19 candidates for the HISD board of trustees participated in a forum held by Children at Risk this week.

Early voting starts next week for the Houston school board elections, which have drawn a crowded field of candidates vying for six of the nine seats on the board.

Half of those races are wide open for newcomers. They include Districts I, III and V.

One major theme emerging is how the current board governs.

“I think there’s a perception that our current school board is not really cohesive,” said Bob Sanborn, who leads the advocacy group Children at Risk. “They’re not all on the same page. They’re really not all thinking in one way in terms of how do we make lives better for students.”

That could impact the rest of the races, where incumbents are fighting to keep their seats in Districts VI, VII and IX.

“It seems like incumbents aren’t the natural people to be reelected. It seems like there’s a tension — certainly from the inside circle on this race — in terms of we need to make sure we get the right mix,” Sanborn added.

His group recently held a candidate forum, where almost all of the 19 candidates on the ballot participated. The majority of them agreed on issues like full day pre-K, early education for three-year-olds, support for Superintendent Richard Carranza and giving all students three free meals every day.

In some ways the future of the board itself rides on the election. That’s because HISD could get a state-appointed board of managers next year if it doesn’t improve chronically failing schools.

Share

Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

More Information