Category Archives: Budget

Funding the Future: A message from the President and CEO of Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation

As part of HISD’s effort to inform the community about important financial decisions being made ahead of the Board of Education’s budget vote in June, the spotlight has been put on librarians and their significant impact on students.

Dr. Julie Baker Finck, President and CEO of Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, has shared an editorial providing insight into the benefits of improving library access in HISD under the proposed budget.

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Funding the Future: A message from Houston Public Library on the importance of librarians in schools

The latest edition of HISD’s Funding the Future newsletter aims to highlight the significant impact librarians have on school communities and why these key positions should be adequately funded through the proposed budget.

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HISD announces teacher salaries, raises through 2025

Raising teacher salaries in HISD is a top commitment within the district’s new, five-year strategic plan. In February, HISD announced a compensation plan with cost-of-living updates and step increases for the next three years. HISD is raising teacher salaries by 17% between now and 2024.

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HISD launching RISE transformation cohort at underperforming schools

As part of Houston Independent School District’s new five-year strategic plan, the district is taking the next steps to ensure there are great schools in every community while cultivating world-class talent at all levels.

In order to meet the commitment of permanently improving every D- and F-performing campus, HISD is transforming how it serves those students by launching the RISE transformation cohort beginning in School Year 2022-2023.

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HISD board approves $250,000 grant for family mental health supports related to pandemic

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education accepted a $250,000 grant from School-Based Healthcare Solutions Network to address students’ and parents’ mental health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grant, approved by an 8-0 vote with one abstention, will be used at 10 participating schools to assist families whether their students are enrolled in virtual or face-to-face instruction. Only 25 recipients across the nation are receiving the grant. The HISD schools are: Highland Heights and Wesley elementary schools; Attucks, Cullen, Henry, and Thomas middle schools; and Bellaire, Madison, North Forest, and Waltrip high schools.

Joining the board for her first regular meeting was newly appointed Trustee Myrna Guidry (District IX). The Houston attorney and law professor will fulfill the unexpired term of Wanda Adams who resigned to serve as a Harris County Justice of the Peace. The board term expires December 31, 2021.

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HISD’s return to the classroom supported by $200,000 donation from Phillips 66

The Houston Independent School District has been disinfecting schools daily in order to combat the spread of COVID-19, and a $200,000 donation from locally based international energy company Phillips 66 is now supporting those efforts to protect students and staff.

HISD has utilized the donation to outfit schools with state-of-the-art electrostatic cleaning supplies and equipment. The Phillips 66 donation is designed to assist with safe continuation of in-person instruction on district campuses.

“There is no doubt that this generous gift is making our campuses safer,” Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “We deeply appreciate Phillips 66’s desire to help HISD keep our campuses clean and safe.”

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HISD Board approves $41 million budget amendment

$2.3 million in grants for mental health, afterschool supports also approved

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education voted 8-0 with one abstention to approve a $41 million budget amendment to fund additional supports for special education, pay for personal protective equipment (PPE), enhanced cleaning services and supplies, and computer devices and hotspots.

The extra funding for special education amounts to $17 million and has been under consideration since August of 2020. The funding will pay primarily for assigning speech-language pathologists to campuses where students in need have been identified and allow for expansion of the number of existing Intensive Intervention Teams. The funding will also pay for the addition of mental health specialists to address students’ emotional and behavioral challenges. The district will also use the additional funding to increase the number of occupational and physical therapists and assistive technology specialists.

The board also adopted by a vote of 9-0 the district’s 2020 tax rate of $1.1331 per $100 of taxable property value to allow the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector to begin the preparation of 2020 tax bills.

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HISD receives $1 million grant from Moody Foundation to help close digital divide

The Houston Independent School District will receive $1 million from the Moody Foundation to help close the digital divide by purchasing computers for HISD’s Achieve 180 students on some of the district’s underperforming campuses.

The funds will be used to purchase more than 2,000 devices for students in pre-K through fifth grade at schools where Achieve 180 program is in place. Achieve 180 is a research-based action plan to support, strengthen, empower, and increase student achievement in underserved and underperforming HISD feeder pattern communities.

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HISD Board approves $54.6 million budget amendment to help students Reconnect Safely, Return Strong

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education approved a $54.6 million amendment to the 2020-2021 budget, which includes a $31 million purchase of devices and wireless hotspots to help close the digital divide and ensure students are equipped to Reconnect Safely and Return Strong when classes resume virtually on Sept. 8.

The district has provided 76,362 devices for students in need since the pandemic and plans to distribute 22,750 additional devices by next month. HISD has provided 6,628 hotspots for students in need and plans to distribute an additional 19,151 of the wireless devices by next month as well.

The added appropriations in the budget amendment will also fund additional special education positions, personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing signage, plexiglass dividers, and instructional supports.

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