Category Archives: Board of Education

HISD superintendent urges business community, state lawmakers to invest in every child

HISD Board President Wanda Adams says investment in our students is the board’s top priority

Speaking before a sold-out crowd, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza and HISD Board of Education President Wanda Adams urged business professionals and state lawmakers to see public education as an investment to ensure the future success of every student that walks through a school’s doors.

“I am here to tell you that we must invest in every child,” Carranza said. “Regardless of where they live, where they were born, the color of their skin, their religion, or the language they speak. Every child at every school deserves a high-quality education that prepares them for a successful future … They are our future leaders, engineers, entrepreneurs, computer programmers. They are the fulfillment of Houston’s enormous potential.” Continue reading

HISD trustees approve election after TEA significantly reduces recapture for homestead exemption

TEA will now recognize half of the local homestead exemption in recapture calculations for districts statewide. HISD voters could stop detachment of property in July.

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted to call a May 6 election to ask voters to authorize sending lower recapture payments to the state rather than face detachment of commercial property in July. A May 6 election must be called by Feb. 17.  The swift timing allows the district to follow the deadlines set by the state and Harris County.

Previously, HISD’s recapture obligation was estimated at $162 million. Under the Texas Education Agency’s recent announcement of recognizing half of the local homestead exemption, along with adjustments made to student enrollment and property value figures, HISD is now subject to a reduced $77.5 million recapture obligation or the removal of about $8 billion dollars’ worth of non-residential, commercial properties from HISD’s tax roll.

HISD’s Board Trustees Wanda Adams, Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Anna Eastman, Mike Lunceford, and Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca voted for the approval of election. Trustees Diana Dávila, Jolanda Jones, and Manuel Rodriguez did not vote in favor of the item. Trustee Anne Sung abstained from voting. The ballot item in May, if passed, would stop the detachment and reassignment of commercial property and authorize the district to send lower recapture payments to the state than those earlier projected. If the measure fails, detachment would begin in July of 2017, unless the Legislature takes action before it adjourns on May 29. Continue reading

HISD Board of Education approves resolution that supports undocumented students

Resolution also opposes any travel ban proposed by the federal government  

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approves a resolution in support of the district’s immigrant community affected by the recent actions of the state and federal government related to immigrants and undocumented individuals in the United States. Continue reading

HISD Trustees and Superintendent heading to Austin to discuss school finance solutions

Members of the HISD Board of Education and Superintendent Richard Carranza will spend two full days in Austin this week, collaborating with top state leaders to address changes to Texas’ school finance system.

Board President Wanda Adams, trustees Anna Eastman, Michael Lunceford, and Rhonda Skillern-Jones, along with Superintendent Richard Carranza will have scheduled meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with state leaders and members of HISD’s legislative delegation in Austin.

“The HISD Board of Education and administration are united in our desire to work constructively with our state leaders to identify funding solutions that put children first,” Adams said. “We all agree that Texas’ school finance system was never intended to take classroom resources from our state’s most needy children.” Continue reading

HISD moves away from high-stakes testing in student grade-level promotion decisions

Board also approves 2017-2018 calendar that gives students and staff a full week off for Thanksgiving

The Houston ISD Board of Education voted Thursday to join with other school districts that only use students’ scores on high-stakes standardized tests for grade-level promotion decisions when doing so is required by Texas law. The decision is effective immediately for the 2016-2017 school year and beyond.

Texas law requires students to pass the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) in math and reading in grades five and eight. The state also mandates that high school students pass STAAR end-of-course exams. Because this is state law, HISD students will still be required to pass these STAAR exams.

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HISD Board of Education elects new officers

District IX Trustee Wanda Adams named 2017 president

The HISD Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday to name District IX Trustee Wanda Adams president for 2017.

A Kashmere High School graduate, Adams was first elected to the school board in 2013. She previously served six years on the Houston City Council.

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Two new trustees sworn in to serve on Board of Education

Two new members of the Houston Independent School District Board of Education were sworn in on Thursday ahead of the board’s regularly scheduled January meeting – District VI Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca (Ocampo) and District VII Trustee Anne Sung.

Both are filling unexpired trustee terms that run through the end of 2017. Sung was elected to the board in December and Flynn Vilaseca was unanimously appointed by the board this week to serve the unexpired trustee term for District VI. Sung will fill the unexpired term of outgoing District VII Trustee Harvin Moore, and Flynn Vilaseca will serve the remaining term of the District VI seat formerly held by Greg Meyers.

HISD Board of Education to swear in two new trustees before Thursday meeting

Board also will elect new officers at monthly board meeting

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education will welcome its two newest members on Thursday, swearing in newly appointed District VI Trustee Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca (Ocampo) and newly elected District VII Trustee Anne Sung.

Both are filling unexpired trustee terms that run through the end of 2017 and will be formally sworn in prior to the first meeting of the year during a special ceremony.

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HISD’s top priority as 85th Legislature convenes: School finance

As the 85th Texas Legislature convenes today in Austin, the state’s school finance system is the top priority on HISD’s legislative agenda, and the district will ask state lawmakers to make changes that would keep local tax dollars in Houston schools.

Under the state’s current school finance system, HISD is considered “property wealthy” and is subject to sending $162 million in local property taxes to the state – a process known as “recapture.” But on Election Day, Houstonians voted down the ballot measure that would have authorized the $162 million payment and future payments totaling more than $1 billion. This means that, starting in July, the Texas Education Agency can detach $18 billion worth of nonresidential, commercial property from HISD’s tax rolls and reassign those businesses to other school districts for taxing purposes. The TEA will continue to detach property every July for the foreseeable future.

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Board unanimously appoints Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca to serve unexpired Trustee District VI term

Flynn Vilaseca to take oath of office on Thursday

hollymaria_2Houston ISD Trustees on Monday unanimously agreed to appoint Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca (Ocampo) to serve the unexpired trustee term representing District VI on the district’s west side.

Flynn Vilaseca, who is fluent in English and Spanish, worked as a bilingual teacher at HISD’s Windsor Village Elementary School as a Teach for America corps member from 2004 to 2006. Since then, Ms. Vilaseca has continued working in the education field with Battelle for Kids, K12 Inc., and thinkLaw.

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