A potential state takeover of the Houston ISD board of trustees is back in play after the Texas Supreme Court vacated an injunction, sending the case back to the trial court.

The case related to whether Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath has the authority to appoint a board of managers for HISD under the Texas Education Code.

The TEA has been attempting to take over HISD since 2019, when the agency first announced it was recommending the state take over the district because the elected school board "demonstrated inability to appropriately govern."

A Travis County judge granted HISD the injunction in 2020, temporarily stopping the takeover. In 2021, the Texas Legislature passed a new law—called Senate Bill 1365—that TEA lawyers argued gave them authority to move forward with the takeover. The Supreme Court agreed, writing that the injunction could not be upheld under the 2021 law.

"After the court of appeals issued its decision, Senate Bill 1365 substantially changed the statutes that govern this case," wrote Justice Jane Bland, who authored the opinion. "We expect the parties to reconsider their positions and supplement the record in light of changes in the law and factual developments within the District."

In a statement released Jan. 13, HISD Superintendent Millard House II said the district's legal team was still reviewing the court's opinion. He noted some of HISD's accomplishments since he became superintendent, including improvements to campus accountability ratings and raises for the district's teachers.

"As Superintendent for the last 18 months, my team has been laser-focused on giving each one of our students the academic experience they deserve," House said. "Guided by community input, the district developed and is executing on its five-year strategic plan. There is still much more work to be done, but we are excited about the progress we have made as a district and are looking forward to the work ahead."

The TEA has not commented publicly on the ruling.

Read the full text of the opinion here.