HISD announces opportunities for community to learn more about potential bond proposal

As the HISD community continues to recover from last week’s storm, the need for investment in our aging facility infrastructure has become even more acute. To engage our community in this discussion as quickly as possible, HISD is announcing the dates for community meetings on the state of HISD facilities. In addition, we are naming the Community Advisory Committee that will drive engagement with the community.

The Committee will share information about the specific facility needs at the neighborhood and campus levels and gather feedback about the District’s proposed priorities. The District has not had a bond since 2012 and, as a result, there is over $10 billion in overdue facilities upgrades. The District has said it will explore a bond of $4-5 billion to allow the District to prioritize the most urgent needs – Safe and Healthy Schools, FutureReady Learning Environments, and Modernized Schools – without raising taxes.

The Committee will be co-chaired by three seasoned Houston Leaders:

Judith Cruz is a former trustee and board president of Houston ISD. With over two and a half decades of experience as a teacher, nonprofit leader, advocate and parent in HISD, she’s deeply rooted in efforts to foster student success, especially for those whose talent and potential is often overlooked.

Garnet F. Coleman served 30 years in the Texas House of Representatives. Until March 1 of 2022, he served on the house appropriations committee, the public health committee, and as the chair of the County Affairs Committee. He was an author of the state Children’s Health Insurance Program and served as one of 32 state legislators appointed by President Obama to help write and pass the Affordable Care Act. He is the chief strategy officer of CCPPI, a nonprofit he founded.

Scott McClelland is the retired president of H-E-B. In 2017, McClelland co-founded an education-based non-profit called Good Reason Houston focused on improving education for all students across Harris County from cradle to career.

While the co-chairs have a diverse set of lived and personal experiences, perspectives, and constituencies, they share a common commitment to HISD students.

“I joined the bond community advisory committee because I know how long overdue and needed a bond is for the future of HISD.” said Cruz. “Our students deserve to learn in safe and healthy environments. Our educators deserve to teach in innovative, effective classrooms. These are the most basic and imperative building blocks we can provide our students as they prepare to reach their potential and fulfill their dreams.”

Garnet Coleman wants to support the opportunities that HISD provides all students. “I am proud to be a co-chair of the community advisory committee for the renew HISD bond initiative because our school children, teachers, and staff deserve healthy, safe learning environments,” said Coleman. “Our youngest children and those who are preparing for the work world and college need the best facilities, training tools, and appropriate space to succeed.”

Scott McClelland’s priority was creating a line of transparent communication with HISD stakeholders. “I have a strong interest in public education and believe that ALL kids deserve access to high-quality schools, regardless of their zip code,” said McClelland. “It’s important that Houstonians have a clear understanding of why HISD is proposing a bond initiative and how the monies will be used.”

Joining the co-chairs on the Committee are three elected trustees and nearly two dozen civic and faith leaders, educators, community advocates, and HISD parents. See the full list of committee members here.

The Community Advisory Committee will hold four meetings to give community members and the public the opportunity to learn about the District’s facility needs, preview proposed investments, and participate in small-group workshops to share their feedback:

Interested community members can RSVP here.