Board of Education approved $5.7 million initiative
The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved the $5.7 million proposal to add 4,110 laptops at 115 schools in an effort to aid in reading instruction.
These laptops will be in addition to the 5,000 laptops HISD purchased earlier in the year to enable schools to provide increased online intervention to more than 80,000 struggling readers.
“These laptops have enabled our campus to truly push intervention with no excuses as we are now able to provide our students supplemental resources to help them read at grade level,” said Jilliane Raphiel, principal at Franklin Elementary School. Her campus received 30 laptops in the fall. “Already our third graders are showing significant improvement in their reading levels.”
In addition, the board adopted the district’s agenda for the upcoming 83rd session of the Texas Legislature which includes a request to restore funding to the full-day pre-kindergarten program, among other items.
During the 82nd legislative session in 2011, HISD lost $5 million in state grant funding for the full-day pre-kindergarten program. As a result, HISD had to reduce programs that serve at-risk children at more than 70 campuses to cover the cost of continuing to provide a full-day pre-kindergarten program at all the schools impacted.
The district’s agenda for the 83rd legislative session also includes the following:
- A request for flexibility on the school start dates. HISD supports allowing the board to determine the start of the academic year based on the best interests of the students.
- A request for flexibility on the state graduation requirements to allow students to satisfy graduation requirements through additional courses beyond those in the current statutory scheme.