‘Grave concerns’: Rep. Sylvia Garcia calls for federal audit into Houston ISD Sup. Mike Miles’ Colorado school

May 9, 2024: Discontent spreading in Houston neighborhoods as more teacher and staff lose jobs with HISD. (Copyright 2024 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

HOUSTON – The fight against Houston Independent School District superintendent Mike Miles continues and now, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia has entered the ring by calling for a federal audit into a previous school he worked at.

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In a letter addressed to U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Garcia cites she has “grave concerns” over how educational dollars were being utilized in the district.

“With the undemocratic takeover HISD by the State of Texas, I have grave concerns about the financial wellbeing of the district,” Congresswoman Garcia wrote.

The congresswoman’s letter is the latest callout after a report by Spectrum News that resulted in calls for a federal investigation by the Houston Teachers Federation, a coalition group of parents, teachers, and students, and Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis.

Spectrum also reported that Miles received $40,000 last year consulting for Third Future Schools, which was dealing with deep financial setbacks leading to the closure of a Colorado school and $5 million in unpaid debt.

Before this news came to light, Miles was facing serious backlash from parents and teachers after widespread job cuts to close a $450 million budget gap. This latest development is also on the heels of an increasing number of teachers and principals finding out they will not be asked back next year, sparking wide protests that have also gotten Congresswoman Garcia’s attention.

“Widespread layoffs have been announced of widely acclaimed and beloved teachers, administrators, and staff members, leading to families protesting outside their neighborhood schools,” she added.

RELATED: Houston ISD parents, community members continue protesting ‘disruptive policies’

Miles has rebuffed any allegations of wrongdoing saying they are misrepresentation and baseless.”

Regardless, Congresswoman Garcia appeared to empathize with the call-to-actions expressed by parents and concerned HISD community members in her letter by asking the Department of Education to step in.

“I understand that the Department of Education is critically important to the wellbeing of future generations and ensuring that all stakeholders are good financial stewards of public funds is a part of that work,” she concluded. “Houston is a vibrant and diverse community, and our state government is punishing us for that; we need your help.”

About the Authors

Historian, educator, writer, expert on "The Simpsons," amateur photographer, essayist, film & tv reviewer and race/religious identity scholar. Joined KPRC 2 in Spring 2024 but has been featured in various online newspapers and in the Journal of South Texas' Fall 2019 issue.

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