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Houston School Board Reinstates Interim Superintendent, Sets Timeline for Final Search

The board approves a timeline by which HISD could have a permanent superintendent by the end of April and green lights other measures meant to move past a bitter week.

The Houston school board voted unanimously to officially reinstate the interim superintendent, Grenita Lathan, at a special meeting Thursday.
The Houston school board voted unanimously to officially reinstate the interim superintendent, Grenita Lathan, at a special meeting Thursday.

If all goes as planned, the Houston Independent School District could have a new, permanent superintendent by the end of April.

The board OK’d that timeline and other measures meant to move past a bitter week. They include:

  • Reinstating interim superintendent, Grenita Lathan;
  • Passing a resolution for “reconciliation” to repair a breakdown of trust and communication;
  • Hiring an executive coach for the nine members of the board;
  • Hiring an executive coach for the interim superintendent; and
  • Asking the Texas Education Agency to replace the state conservator over struggling schools.

Board members engaged in little discussion in the Thursday morning special meeting, a marked contrast to the tumultuous meeting a week ago that saw comments about racism and an abrupt dismissal of Lathan as interim leader.

Trustee Elizabeth Santos said that personal drama has gotten in the way of important work.

“And what work is that? It is the work of finding a permanent superintendent. It is a process that’s been unexpectedly delayed for over 200 days,” she said.

Houston schools have been without a permanent superintendent since Richard Carranza left in March to lead New York City Public Schools.

For the executive coaching, the board didn’t give details on who would provide that training or how much it would cost. 

Trustee Sergio Lira issued another apology to the community.

We lost sight, we lost sight of why we’re here,” he said. “We lost sight that student achievement, our students is our focus and our priority.”

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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...

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