Local media coverage of the HISD takeover can at times get old and predictable. HISD Superintendent Mike Miles announces a change in policy and the local media goes to the teacher union leadership for a response to the policy change. See this from ABC Channel 13 news yesterday:

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles released a shocking report showing what he calls years of wasteful spending.

After taking over more than six months ago, Miles said he wanted a closer look at how the district operated, including buses, staff overtime, and school maintenance.

On Monday, Miles shared what he’s learned in a report.

“I think the level here was higher than what I expected,” Miles said. “I wasn’t totally surprised, but there was some level of, ‘Wow, this is worse than a typical urban district.'”

The 31-page report focused on ways HISD operates, including overtime, teacher absences, contractor work, consultants, and staff tracking. Miles said they learned the district spends too much on each item.

He says one employee made $90,000 in overtime, and nearly a thousand teachers took too many days off without consequences.

Seven years ago, the district spent $300 million on consultants, which made up nearly a tenth of all the district’s spending.

While he gave numbers on some spending, ABC13 asked how much of it was wasteful spending.

“I don’t know, is the answer,” Miles said.

Another focus was buses. Miles pointed out that the district spends $6,400 on each student, yet only 17 riders board each bus on average.

He also showcased bus purchases from two years ago. Former school leaders spent $20 million on 175 buses using federal dollars.

According to Miles, these vehicles are unnecessary because the district has over 200 buses that serve as backups.

A former school board member told ABC13 they purchased them because the current fleet requires a lot of maintenance. They admit they may have bought too many buses, but there were 40,000 more students at the time.

ABC13 showed the report to Houston Federation of Teachers union president Jackie Anderson, who believed Miles left some items out.

“I think it was wasteful for him to spend nearly $500,000 on a convocation,” Anderson said. “I think it was wasteful for him to close the libraries and throw away hundreds of thousands and perhaps a million dollars worth of books.”

We know that Miles is not accountable to anyone here locally and he is going to do what he wants to do. We also know that the teacher union leader is not going to agree with any of the policy changes Miles proposes and implements. Same old story. Miles says something, teacher union leader strongly disagrees.

The local media needs to stop being lazy and talk to parents of kids in the good schools and bad schools. Go talk to professionals and business owners with kids in the good schools or the bad schools. Talk to clergy leaders from neighborhood places of worship near these schools. Get other points of view or takes on what the superintendent is doing, or else folks are going to stop paying attention.


Commentary’s flat screen carrier is Xfinity.  For the past year my flat screen has had pixilation issues. Sometimes the screen starts to dissolve and goes dark for a split second to two. Last summer Xfinity sent out a techie to check out my system and he said he fixed it. Nope. Pixilation issues started up right after.

This past weekend I bought a new flat screen and got some new HDMI cables to hook it up. The screen issues continued. Yesterday, Xfinity sent over a couple of techies. They found some cable outside that was chewed up by squirrels, possums, or racoons. They also told me that for the past year, Xfinity has been changing over to a new system and moving away from cable boxes, and that was causing the pixilating screens. They switched my box to a tiny one that doesn’t require a cable. It is hooked up via wi-fi, but still requires the HDMI cable into the back of the flat screen. My screen issues are gone. The featured photo is my flat screen.


The NFL doesn’t play the Pro Bowl these days. They now play flag football. I don’t watch it. I can’t remember the last time I watched the Pro Bowl when they used to wear helmets and pads.

I have not watched the NBA All-Star game in decades. I read where the final score of Sunday night’s All-Star games was 211-186.  Nope. Chron sports columnist Jerome Solomon has a column today on the All-Star game and here is the headline:

397 points later, NBA All-Star Game is pointless

I continue to watch the MLB All-Star game because the players still give it their best if they get out on the diamond.


Go vote today, please.

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