Category Archives: Budget

HISD Board of Education to consider policy reinforcing wraparound services commitment

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

HISD Board of Education approves 2017-2018 school year budget

Proposed budget includes almost $49 million for salary increases, $2.2 million for special education

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday approved a 2017-2018 school year budget that includes almost $49 million in salary increases and $2.2 million for special education.

The salary increases are designed to ensure the district is providing all employees with a competitive and livable wage, while the special education funding is designed to provide that department with essential additional resources. Continue reading

HISD Board of Education to consider proposed 2017-2018 budget during Thursday meeting

Proposed budget includes $48.6 million for salary increases, $2.2 million for special education

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday will consider a proposed 2017-2018 school year budget that includes $48.6 million in salary increases and $2.2 million for special education.

The salary increases are designed to ensure the district is providing all employees with a competitive and livable wage, while the special education funding is designed to provide that department with essential additional resources. Continue reading

HISD superintendent discusses equity, district’s vision during forum with African-American community leaders

HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza told African-American community, business, and civic leaders on Tuesday that HISD is prioritizing equity in the district and proposing a plan, called Achieve 180, to target 32 underserved schools with extra supports and funding.

Carranza outlined his priorities for the coming year during a one-on-one interview with Houston Defender Publisher Sonceria Messiah Jiles, part of the Defender’s “Conversations and Coffee” series. Continue reading

HISD supports House Bill 21 to increase funding for all schools and lower Recapture payments statewide

Bill would reduce HISD’s 2018-19 biennium recapture payment

The Houston Independent School District supports House Bill 21, which passed the Texas House of Representatives April 20 and would lower HISD’s Recapture obligation providing approximately $40 million in additional resources for the 2018-19 biennium.

Houston voters go to the polls on May 6 to decide how to pay this year’s Recapture obligation of $77.5 million. Proposition 1 asks voters whether they want to “purchase attendance credits.” A vote for means HISD will write a check to the state, while a vote against would result in the state’s detachment and reassignment of the district’s most valuable commercial property. Early voting begins April 24, 2017, and ends May 2, 2017. Continue reading

HISD board to receive overview of financial impact of recapture and detachment of commercial property on district

The Houston Independent School District Office of Budgeting and Financial Planning will make a presentation on the financial impact of recapture and detachment of commercial property on the district to the HISD Board of Education during the board’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

Last month, the board voted to call a May 6 election to ask voters if the district should pay its recapture obligation to the State of Texas by sending lower recapture payments to the state or through detachment of commercial property in July.

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HISD names new chief financial officer

The Houston Independent School District has selected Rene Barajas as the district’s new chief financial officer.

Dr. Barajas currently serves as deputy superintendent and chief financial officer of the Garland Independent School District, with more than 20 years of central administration experience in public schools. He has eight years of experience as a chief financial officer.

He previously served as an assistant superintendent for business and support services for the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District as well as a business manager and internal auditor for other public school districts in Texas.

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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 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 earns state’s highest fiscal accountability rating

The Houston Independent School District earned an “A” rating for “Superior Achievement” for the fourth consecutive year under the state’s school financial accountability rating system for demonstrating high-quality of financial management of taxpayer resources.

The state’s school financial accountability rating system, known as the School Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), ensures that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices. The system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for instructional purposes.

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