Education News

In Races for Houston School Board, Incumbents Lose To Their Challengers

But the winners of these four seats on the HISD board of trustees may not take the full powers of the office, as a state takeover of HISD is looking increasingly likely.

Eight candidates for the board of trustees for the Houston Independent School District shared their perspectives on issues from charter schools, cafeteria menus, testing and more at a recent forum held by the advocacy group Children at Risk.

This post has been updated with final election results.

Even as there is growing uncertainty over the future of the Houston Independent School District, voters cast ballots this Election Day to elect four trustees of the nine-member board.

Two incumbents tried to keep their seats, but ultimately lost to their challengers, according to results from the Harris County Clerk’s Office.

In District Three, Trustee Sergio Lira earned just under 37% of votes compared to over 60% of votes for Dani Hernandez.

Similarly in District Eight, current board president Diana Davila lagged behind her challenger, Judith Cruz, receiving 36% of the vote.

The open races for Districts Two and Four will both go to a runoff.

In District Two, which includes Kashmere and Wheatley high schools, the runoff will be between Kathy Blueford-Daniels, who earned 42.49% of the vote, and John Curtis Gibbs, with 21.56% of the vote.

The race for District Four, which includes Yates High School, was a close race with three different candidates — Patricia Allen, Matt Barnes and Reagan Flowers – all earning close to 30% of the votes. The runoff will be between Allen, with 30.58%, and Barnes, with 29.51%.

However, the winners of these four seats on the HISD board of trustees may not take the full powers of the office, as a state takeover of HISD is looking increasingly likely. For one, special investigators at the Texas Education Agency have recommended the commissioner oust the board because of their probe into board governance problems. And separately, the state has denied HISD’s appeal for Wheatley High’s latest failing grade, which triggers either the shuttering of the school or a board of managers under state law.

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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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