HISD Changes Direction on Superintendent Replacement

HISD will not hire Saavedra

The Houston Independent School District will not go forward with plans to replace interim superintendent Grenita Lathan with former superintendent Abelardo Saavedra.

Saavedra was HISD's superintendent from 2004 to 2009, and has recently served as superintendent of South San Antonio ISD.

In a 5-4 vote last week, the board tapped Saavedra to take over. The move came as a surprise to several board members and prompted backlash.

HISD board members announced Sunday night they would no longer be hiring Saavedra and would address the issue at a press conference Monday.

“This is a good outcome for today,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement on Sunday evening. “But our children need a board with trustees working together, harmoniously, for the good of the children now and in the future.”

"People have become impatient with a dysfunctional board,” Turner added. “There is no tolerance for bad behavior, regardless of who the bad actors are, when it comes at the expense of what's best for our children."

Speaking to the rest of the board last week, Trustee Elizabeth Santos expressed frustration at the tone of recent meetings.

"This meeting tonight, everything has been chaos, month, after month, after month," Santos said. "I can't even listen to my colleagues speak. We can't even have discussion on this."

Lathan became interim superintendent after Richard Carranza left the district to lead the New York City Department of Education, earlier this year.

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