HISD Board of Education approves tax rate

The HISD Board of Education adopted a 1-cent property tax rate increase on Oct. 9, 2014, by a 7-1 vote with Trustee Greg Meyers in opposition. Trustee Manuel Rodriguez, Jr. did not attend the meeting. The new property tax rate $1.1967 per $100 taxable value keeps HISD as the district with the lowest rate in the region and the lowest of the 13 largest districts in Texas.

The tax rate increase supports the district’s $1.74 billion operations budget for the 2014-2015 academic year and the district’s total debt, which includes the $1.9 billion construction bond approved by voters in 2012. The rate also includes a maintenance and operations component of $1.0267 and a debt service component of 17 cents.

The operations budget that was approved in June addresses the district’s key priorities – increasing teacher pay, supporting the implementation of a comprehensive literacy plan, and funding required expenditures that will save the district money in the long term.

Design contracts awarded for remaining projects under 2012 bond

The HISD Board of Education also authorized the district to negotiate contracts with design firms on the remaining 14 projects within the 2012 bond program.  Although architect selections for schools in Groups 3 and 4 of the program weren’t slated to take place until next year, the district is moving forward to minimize the impact of escalating construction costs.

The following architectural firms were selected from a pool of 55 companies that responded to the district’s Request for Qualifications.

Askew Elementary School Cre8 Architects Incorporated
Austin High School ERO Architects
Garden Oaks Montessori K-8 Hill Swart Chu Architects
Jordan High School Corgan Associates, Inc. dba Corgan
Kashmere High School Natex Corporation
Madison High School Morris Architects
Pilgrim Academy K-8 RDC Architects
Sam Houston Math, Science & Technology Center Stantec Architecture
Scarborough High School Randall – Porterfield Architects
Sharpstown International School Autoarch Architects
Westbury High School Joiner Partnership
Wharton Dual Language School K-8 H. Munoz & Company
Wilson Montessori School K-8 Smith & Company Architects
Young Women’s College Prep Natex Corporation

During the regular monthly meeting, the board also approved the submission of 1,499 fall class size waiver requests. The Texas Education Agency requires waivers if class sizes in kindergarten through fourth-grade surpass 22 students. For the full copy of the board meeting agenda, click here.