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Houston district sues Texas Education Agency to stop ouster of board

The state agency has recommended that the elected school board in Houston be removed from office.

The Houston school board has gone to court to stop the Texas Education Agency (TEA) from ousting them following a state investigation into alleged misconduct.

The Houston Chronicle reports that lawyers for the district have filed suit in federal court to block the agency from taking action.

The district asserts that the state has conducted a “one-sided investigation” and has reached conclusions “unsupported by any credible evidence.”

The lawsuit contends that the TEA has violated board members' rights in several ways and has failed to fully investigate allegations of wrongdoing.

The court filing comes two weeks after TEA investigators determined several board members violated the Texas Open Meetings Act, improperly influenced district contracts, and overstepped their governance role.

The 49-page complaint argues that TEA officials were had decided before the inquiry was completed that it would seek to oust the Houston school board. It also says the state agency failed to fully investigate allegations and incorrectly applied the law to their findings.

In addition, the lawsuit alleges the agency is violating federal civil rights laws by replacing school boards only in districts where a majority of residents are people of color.

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