HISD Board of Education to consider the district’s legislative priorities

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday will consider adopting the district’s legislative agenda for the 86th Texas Legislative Session.

The proposed state legislative agenda focuses on reforming the state’s school finance system and reducing recapture, improving school safety and security, and addressing accountability ratings and sanctions.

Approval of this agenda item will give HISD specific policy and school finance recommendations to share with members of the Texas Legislature. The 86th session will begin January 8, 2019.

Also proposed is the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018.

Texas Education Code requires that all school districts file a financial report audited by a firm of independent, licensed Certified Public Accountants with the Texas Education Agency (TEA). In April 2018, trustees approved a contract with Weaver & Tidwell, LLP, who conducted the district’s financial audit. The CAFR includes the independent auditor’s reports.

The audit must be approved by the HISD Board of Education and filed with the TEA by Nov. 27, 2018.

Trustees will also consider whether to accept a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education that will provide five HISD campuses with comprehensive wraparound support services for students, family members, and community residents. The supports address non-academic issues that impact students’ ability to learn, such as mental and physical health, food insecurity, lack of stable housing, and incarceration of a parent.

Also on Thursday, trustees will consider a plan to submit 860 class-size waivers to the state for fall 2018.

State law requires kindergarten through fourth-grade classes to have no more than 22 students per classroom. Classes that exceed that number must request a waiver from the Texas Education Agency.

The Board is also expected to vote on the proposed 2019-2020 academic calendar. The proposed calendar was drafted with input from the District Advisory Committee. The first day of school for students would be Aug. 26, 2019, and the final day of classes would be May 29, 2020.

The board meeting will be broadcast live online at www.hisdtv.org and on HISD TV (Xfinity channel 18 or AT&T U-verse Channel 99).