The new leaders will assume their roles immediately and will likely meet for the first time on June 8, said Steve Lecholop, the agency’s deputy commissioner of governance, during a presentation at the last meeting of the HISD elected trustees.
“We’re still on track to name the new members of the board of managers on or around June 1 — it’s our great hope that June 1 is the day,” he said. “In addition to the board announcement that day, the commissioner will also announce the name of the new superintendent.”
The board of managers will be sworn in the same day as the announcement, Lecholop said. Meanwhile, the superintendent will begin working under a 21-day interim contract until he or she gets formal approval by the board of managers.
The state-appointed superintendent and board of managers will begin by launching a 90-day community engagement strategy with assistance from elected board members, Lecholop said.
The TEA representative said he expects and encourages the elected trustees, after they are stripped of their voting power, to engage with the new district leaders by serving as a liaison to the community, providing institutional knowledge and helping the board of managers develop its goals, vision and values.
“You guys know your communities,” he said. “And that is incredibly valuable.”
Continued engagement, involvement and training, Lecholop said, is important to ensure a smooth transition back to elected control, which will happen over a three-year period after the district meets the TEA exit criteria.
Nice to know that the TEA considers the existing Board members to have some value. I’ve been mulling this over, because the outgoing Trustees are basically in the position of being asked by the management that just laid them off to train their replacements. (Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve been in a similar position before.) The case for doing so if that you’re a professional, you care about the mission and the people you’re leaving behind, and you have pride in what you’ve done. The argument against is basically “Fuck you, I want nothing to do with this bullshit, this mess is all on you”. Not exactly dignified, and your reputation will take a hit, but for pure selfish emotional satisfaction it’s hard to beat.
I do think the outgoing (in power and responsibility, if not in position) Trustees should work with the incoming Board of Managers, because they are still elected officials and made a promise to serve the district and its stakeholders, but if they want to do so on something resembling their own terms, I will understand. I think it’s okay to approach this with the mindset that the appointees have something to prove before they can be trusted. I think it’s okay to make it clear to your constituents that what happens next is entirely the responsibility of the state of Texas, that if things go well it’s because they built on the solid foundation that you and your colleagues left for them and if things go badly it’s because they came in and wrecked it all. I think it’s not only okay but a requirement to talk to the press and anyone who will listen if the new guys are about to do something you don’t like and don’t think the public will like. You still have your voice, go ahead and keep using it. And hope for the best, because the sooner these guys are out of here, the better. Campos and the Press have more.