The Houston Bureau of Empower Texans/Texans for Fiscal Responsibility is excited to issue the following Houston ISD endorsements for the upcoming November 7th election. Endorsements were made through a combination of candidate questionnaires, interviews, and input from our Houston subscribers.

Sean Cheben for District V  

Sean Cheben is a chemical engineer who has spent time volunteering in HISD, which is what spurred his interest in running for the board of trustees.

Cheben is running for District V, a seat vacated by long-time Trustee Mike Lunceford, and wants to focus on reducing spending and expanding learning opportunities saying, “The Board and Superintendent should immediately begin a line-by-line budget review to root out programs and central departments that don’t improve student outcomes.”

He plans to focus on reducing HISD’s $107 million deficit, enhance STEM fluency so HISD students can compete in the modern workforce, and expand vocational training to help students seeking gainful employment after graduation.

John Luman for District VII

John Luman is an attorney, an HISD parent, and successfully led the grassroots opposition to oppose an overpriced housing complex proposed by Houston Housing Authority.

Luman is running for District VII, a seat formerly held by Trustee Harvin Moore, and wants to empower campuses to make decisions that best fit their needs and redirect tax dollars from the administration to the classroom. “No matter how good the idea seems in the central office, our schools are not all alike.  Furthermore, unless there is buy-in and fidelity of implementation, it will not work,” said Luman.

He also plans to push for partnerships with high performing charter schools so HISD students have more options when it comes to choosing campuses and what they want to study.

Both Cheben and Luman will bring a much-needed fiduciary focus to the board when they are elected in November. HISD is currently facing a major deficit, looming threat of takeover by the Texas Education Agency because of repeatedly failing campuses, and has to plan for millions of dollars in future recapture payments. HISD’s election couldn’t be more important and that’s why we are proud to endorse Sean Cheben (District V) and John Luman (District VII).

Early Voting begins October 23, and Election Day is November 7.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.