Legislative Session brings changes to STAAR, district budget

On Monday, June 10, Governor Perry signed House Bill 5 into law. The bill dramatically revises the number of high school student assessments required for graduation as well as overall graduation plans in Texas.

“HISD students will now only be required to pass five end-of-course exams to earn a diploma rather than the 15 exams that were previously required,” said HISD Government Relations Director Veronica Garcia.

Garcia discusses other changes under House Bill 5 and how they will affect HISD students and staff during an interview with Board President Anna Eastman during her monthly TV program, HISD Up Close. Joining her on the program is HISD Chief Financial Officer Ken Huewitt who discusses the impact of this year’s legislative session on the HISD budget. You can watch both interviews below.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/68217929 width=”600px” height=”330px”]

In addition to reducing the number of STAAR exams, House Bill 5 also replaces current high school graduation requirements with a new system that allows students to select one of multiple paths – or “endorsements” – to graduation. Those include arts and humanities, business and industry, science and math, public services and distinguished achievement.

Other changes during this year’s Texas legislative session will also have an impact on HISD students and staff, including refunding to the Foundation School Program.

“The refunding will give HISD back about $55 million, which is a step in the right direction, but we are by no means there yet,” said Chief Financial Officer Ken Huewitt during his interview on HISD Up Close.

HISD will hold a public meeting to discuss and approve the district’s budget for the 2013-2104 school year on June 20 at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, Board Auditorium, located at 4400 West 18th Street. For more information on the public meeting, click here.

To better understand HISD’s budgeting process, including how the district is funded and how funds are spent, watch the short video below. For other resources, visit www.houstonisd.org/budget.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/60502113 width=”600px” height=”330px”]