‘Critical shortage’ positions eliminated from list of positions eligible for RIF
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday will consider a reduction in force for certain term- and continuing-contract employees.
The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, 2018 in the Manuel Rodríguez Jr. Board Auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St. Click here to view the full agenda.
Trustees are expected to consider the two annual reduction in force (RIF) agenda items related to being able to execute a reduction in force of teachers and other campus-based employees, as well as certain central office employees who hold term and continuing contracts. These agenda items were originally scheduled for consideration at the Board’s February meeting, however trustees voted to delay a vote until March. Continue reading →
HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said Tuesday that the departure of Superintendent Richard Carranza does not change the vision and mission of the district, which remains committed to delivering a quality education to all children “in a unified way.”
“We are one vision, and that is to ensure IR (Improvement Required) schools come off IR, that we don’t have any additional schools go into IR, and that we can use our use limited dollars in a way that does the least harm to impact our classrooms,” Skillern-Jones said.
She delivered the message standing shoulder to shoulder with fellow trustees, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, state Rep. Alma Allen, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. All emphasized that the city, state, and federal government have a role to play in ensuring the success of the district, and that the district is more than one person. Continue reading →
As HISD continues to prepare a budget for the 2018-19 school year, the district anticipates a projected deficit reduction from $208 million to $115 million. This revised deficit includes several budget assumptions related to Hurricane Harvey relief and pending litigation.
When HISD first began budgeting for the 2018-2019 school year, it was in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Using a worst-case scenario, the district’s financial team projected a $208 million deficit based on four dynamic factors: the Local Optional Homestead Exemption (LOHE) lawsuit, a recapture payment to the state, a potential property tax value decreaseand an anticipated student enrollment decline. District administrators crafted a revised budget outlook for the 2018-19 school year.
The district’s legal team feels confident that the state will prevail in the LOHE lawsuit. For HISD, this means a reduction in its recapture payment because the TEA will recognize half of the 20 percent local homestead exemption given to homeowners. A decision in the lawsuit could come after a hearing this spring. A win would reduce HISD’s recapture payment by $51 million.
Under the Texas Education Code, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath has the authority to adjust property values. Based on the damage sustained from Hurricane Harvey and the lasting impact of the storm on our students and staff, we anticipate the commissioner will adjust property values, which in turn, would reduce our recapture payment. Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and other state leaders have publicly stated their support for this action. Click here to review a September 2017 press release from Lt. Governor Dan Patrick that confirms his support for schools districts in Region IV impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which includes HISD. In addition, Commissioner Morath surveyed school districts after the hurricane to gather projections on their property tax collections post-Harvey. HISD estimates a $42 million adjustment for property value loss associated with Hurricane Harvey.
In addition, the HISD Board of Education favors a district budget performance review to be conducted by a firm that has previously worked with large school district budgets. An agenda item is anticipated for the April 2018 board meeting. If approved, an immediate audit would begin with a completion date set for the end of the year.
HISD District V Trustee Sue Deigaard will discuss the district’s 2018-2019 budget, and its effects on District V schools, during a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22 in the Bellaire High School auditorium (5100 Maple, Bellaire77401).
HISD District II Trustee Rhonda-Skillern Jones will discuss the district’s 2018-2019 budget during a community meeting for Oak Forest Elementary School and Frank Black Middle School families at 5 p.m. at Frank Black Middle School (1575 Chantilly, Houston 77018).
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a construction contract for the rebuilding of four elementary schools — Braeburn, Scarborough, Kolter, and Mitchell — severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Trustees authorized district officials to negotiate and execute a Construction Manager-At-Risk — more commonly known as CMAR — contract with Satterfield & Pontikes Construction. A CMAR contract requires the contractor to commit to completing a project within a guaranteed maximum price. Though that price has not yet been negotiated, the agenda item states that the total cost of the project is not to exceed the project budget. Continue reading →
Financial impact of Harvey and recapture creating deficit for 2018-2019 school year
As HISD begins to prepare a budget for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year, the district is estimating a $208 million shortfall as result of the financial impact of Hurricane Harvey and recapture.
HISD has seen a decline in student enrollment and is planning for a further decline for the coming school year, which will mean a decrease in state funding. The district also anticipates the storm will have a significant impact on the city’s property values, which will be released in April 2018. HISD’s main source of funding is property tax dollars. To date, the district has received no indication of how much and when they’ll be reimbursed for Harvey-related expenditures.
These factors, combined with the district’s 2018-2019 recapture payment, is creating an estimated $208 million deficit and is requiring HISD to make difficult choices about how funds will be allocated at the school and district level for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. Continue reading →
Wraparound services are key part of Achieve 180 plan to support and empower struggling schools
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education tonight will consider a policy designed to reinforce the district’s commitment to providing students with wraparound services to better support their social and emotional needs outside the classroom.
The proposed policy – titled Student Welfare: Student Support Services – outlines the board’s belief that wraparound services are rooted in strong communities and directs the superintendent to develop the framework for implementing community-based services.
The services are designed to address critical issues such as mental health, physical needs, food insecurity, violence at home, parent incarceration, and legal and crisis support. Continue reading →