Less than 2 years on the job, Houston Independent School District Superintendent Richard A. Carranza is moving on to become the Chancellor of New York City schools. On Monday, Carranza announced his decision as the school district faces challenges, including smaller school budgets.
Carranza took the helm of Texas’s largest school district in August 2016 with unanimous Board of Education approval. He promised to improve student academic achievement, provide student support and create a system of equity for the district’s 284 schools.
“It has been an honor and privilege to have served the students of the Houston Independent School District and bring a voice to communities that have historically been underserved,” Carranza said.
“It is with a heavy heart that I announce my departure as I embark on this new journey. I am looking forward to the opportunity of serving the 1.1 million students in New York City. I am forever grateful to the people of Houston for allowing me to be a part of this great city.” Carranza said Monday.
The HISD School Board President Rhonda Skillern-Jones wished Carranza the best and appreciated his leadership.
“We are committed to continuing the work he began and moving the district forward.” Skillern-Jones added.
The Board will meet on Thursday to discuss next steps.
Reaction to Carranza leaving also came from City Hall.
“I received phone calls today from Richard Carranza and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. I wished the superintendent well, and I told Mayor de Blasio that I believe he is getting a very capable superintendent. Now, we must focus on HISD’s situation,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
“HISD is our largest school district not only in the city but also in the state, and it’s important for its trustees to put in place a very capable interim leader as we navigate through the challenges the district is facing. It’s clear the city cannot move forward unless our school districts are moving forward and providing a quality education to all our children. I will be glad to work closely with the interim superintendent as well as the board to make sure we are doing the very best for our schools, our children and the people in the city of Houston.” Mayor Turner stated in a news release.