HISD Board of Education approves district’s legislative agenda

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

The agenda, which outlines the district’s legislative priorities, will be shared with members of the Texas Legislature. It focuses on reforming the state’s school finance system and reducing recapture, improving school safety and security, and addressing accountability ratings and sanctions.

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

In addition, trustees also approved the audited Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, authorizing district administrators to submit it to the Texas Education Agency.

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.

In other business, trustees unanimously approved the district’s plan to submit 860 class-size waiver requests to the TEA for fall 2018. The class-size waiver report must be approved by the district’s Board of Education before it is submitted to TEA.

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 state.

The board also approved the academic calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. The 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 academic calendar gives students and staff a full week off during Thanksgiving.

Meanwhile, trustees voted to change the date of the proposed Fall Holiday for students from Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, to Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019.