Houston Independent School District trustees Jolanda Jones and Rhonda Skillern-Jones were on a local news channel last night discussing a recently opened accreditation investigation into the district.

HISD has long been mired in issues, but this investigation comes as state takeover of the district looms because of its constantly failing campuses.

“Initially I was informed, I did not know the nature of the situation, and then I was informed that it was because of two reasons,” said Trustee Skillern-Jones, “one, some governance issues complaints, and the second one was the vote that happened to oust the interim superintendent Grenita Lathan.”

Trustee Jolanda Jones agreed, but was much more pointed in her response, “Let me be clear, we’re not being investigated,” pointing to herself and Trustee Skillern-Jones, “I believe in calling spades spades, it was Diana Davila, Sergio Lira, Holly Vilaseca, Anne Sung, they are being investigated,” she said. “I am tired of decisions being made based on personal agendas, vendettas, secret meetings, and not based on student achievement.”

Jones said she doesn’t think the TEA should take the district over, but says that law enforcement should handle what is going on.

“They fired Grenita Lathan with a secret vote after them deciding on it, we literally had no idea that it was coming, we didn’t talk about it or anything, and I have been calling for an investigation into them since June, so I want to know what took so long,” said Jones.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) has been vocal about getting the state involved in HISD’s issues and Gov. Greg Abbott opined recently, calling the district a disaster. Now with an open and active accreditation investigation and the possibility of takeover, the district’s future has never been more uncertain.

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.