H.E.A.R., HISD’s legislative advocacy group, gathers for first meeting  

[photoshelter-gallery g_id=”G0000O7BzgU6xG2o” g_name=”20181106-HEARmeeting” width=”600″ f_fullscreen=”t” bgtrans=”t” pho_credit=”iptc” twoup=”f” f_bbar=”t” f_bbarbig=”f” fsvis=”f” f_show_caption=”t” crop=”f” f_enable_embed_btn=”t” f_htmllinks=”t” f_l=”t” f_send_to_friend_btn=”f” f_show_slidenum=”t” f_topbar=”f” f_show_watermark=”t” img_title=”casc” linkdest=”c” trans=”xfade” target=”_self” tbs=”5000″ f_link=”t” f_smooth=”f” f_mtrx=”t” f_ap=”t” f_up=”f” height=”400″ btype=”old” bcolor=”#CCCCCC” ]

The Houston Independent School District’s newly created Houston Educational Advocacy Representatives, made up of 44 community members, convened its first meeting on Tuesday.

H.E.A.R. is a volunteer coalition of public education advocates tasked with educating lawmakers about HISD’s state and federal legislative priorities, especially school finance reform. Members will travel to Austin during the 2019 Texas Legislative Session to advocate for school finance reform.

The state’s school finance system is outdated and continues to have a profound impact on HISD classrooms. The current system requires HISD and other property wealthy school districts to send a portion of their local property tax collections to the state under a process called recapture.  

The state uses those recaptured local property tax dollars to fund public education statewide. However, as property values rise and local property taxes contribute more to funding public education, the state’s contribution to public education decreases. By the end of 2019, the state’s contribution for education will only be 38%, while local taxpayers cover the rest. HISD’s recapture payment for the 2018-2019 school year is projected to be $274 million.

“The response to this call-to-action was remarkable,” said HISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan. “This is a highly respected and diverse group of community leaders. When the Legislature convenes for session in 2019, we must ensure that the voices of all Houstonians are heard in Austin. The message is clear: It’s time for state lawmakers to fix school finance in Texas.”

The 86th Texas Legislature convenes for the 140-day regular session on Jan. 8. The session will adjourn on May 27.

To learn more about the Texas legislature and issues impacting HISD, visit www.houstonisd.org/legislativecenter.

HISD will be launching a school finance toolkit soon. You can follow the hashtag #FixSchoolFinance on Twitter to stay connected.

Houston Educational Advocacy Representatives

  • Faisal Amin
  • Julia Andrews
  • Nory Angel
  • Deandralina Banks
  • Kathleen Blakeslee
  • Patrick Bresette
  • Raechel Broussard
  • Marcus Ceniceros
  • Judith Clark
  • Jonathan Day
  • Monica Delarosa
  • Jennifer Douglas
  • Carlos Duarte
  • Robert L. Ford
  • Heather Golden
  • Heather Hajdik
  • Renee Hawk
  • Barbra Hearne
  • Ruby Hicks Hughes
  • Michael E. Jackson
  • Dwight Jefferson
  • Cherissa Jordan
  • Mudit Kapur
  • Deleisa Larry
  • Steve Lim
  • Sue Lloyd
  • Roxanne Lujambio
  • Amy Maddux
  • Allison Matney
  • Patrice McKinney
  • Jennifer Moren Cross
  • Kristen K Mueller
  • Colleen Mukavitz
  • Leticia (Tish) Ochoa
  • Dr. Anne Papakonstantinou
  • Elena Penso Quiroz
  • Kirkland Pierre Hall
  • Marie Pousson
  • Tiko Reynolds-Hausman
  • Barbara Shelby Roberts
  • John Robinson
  • Graciela Saenz
  • Thelma Scott
  • Kimberly Willis