Houston ISD chief leaving financial crisis behind to head New York City schools


Less than two years after taking the reins of Houston ISD — and in the midst of what is arguably the district’s most serious financial crisis — Superintendent Richard Carranza is leaving to head the New York City school system.

Carranza appeared Monday (March 5) alongside New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for the announcement that he would become the chancellor of the diverse 1.1 million-student system.

He is second choice, with the mayor’s first pick, Miami-Dade chief Alberto Carvalho, rejecting the job on live television last week when his school board implored him to stay.

Carranza came to Houston in August 2016 from leading the San Francisco schools, after a long career in teaching and as an administrator. DeBlasio praised his record in San Francisco and became a bit of an apologist for Carranza’s time in Houston, describing the impact of Hurricane Harvey and what he described as a state-inflicted funding crisis.

DeBlasio said he was impressed by Carranza’s “passion,” and described him as an “educator’s educator.”

UPDATE: The HISD board has its regular monthly meeting Thursday, and in a statement, the media office said the “next step” would be discussed by trustees.

“We the board wish Carranza the best in his endeavors and appreciate the leadership he brought to this district,” said President Rhonda Skillern-Jones in the release. “We are committed to continuing the work he began and moving the district forward.”

—Charlotte Aguilar

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio introduces HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza as his new school chancellor Monday. (Image from WABC-TV livestream)