Category Archives: Governmental Relations

HISD Trustees and Superintendent heading to Austin to discuss school finance solutions

Members of the HISD Board of Education and Superintendent Richard Carranza will spend two full days in Austin this week, collaborating with top state leaders to address changes to Texas’ school finance system.

Board President Wanda Adams, trustees Anna Eastman, Michael Lunceford, and Rhonda Skillern-Jones, along with Superintendent Richard Carranza will have scheduled meetings on Wednesday and Thursday with state leaders and members of HISD’s legislative delegation in Austin.

“The HISD Board of Education and administration are united in our desire to work constructively with our state leaders to identify funding solutions that put children first,” Adams said. “We all agree that Texas’ school finance system was never intended to take classroom resources from our state’s most needy children.” Continue reading

HISD’s top priority as 85th Legislature convenes: School finance

As the 85th Texas Legislature convenes today in Austin, the state’s school finance system is the top priority on HISD’s legislative agenda, and the district will ask state lawmakers to make changes that would keep local tax dollars in Houston schools.

Under the state’s current school finance system, HISD is considered “property wealthy” and is subject to sending $162 million in local property taxes to the state – a process known as “recapture.” But on Election Day, Houstonians voted down the ballot measure that would have authorized the $162 million payment and future payments totaling more than $1 billion. This means that, starting in July, the Texas Education Agency can detach $18 billion worth of nonresidential, commercial property from HISD’s tax rolls and reassign those businesses to other school districts for taxing purposes. The TEA will continue to detach property every July for the foreseeable future.

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HISD voters to decide whether to send local school tax dollars to the state

Board also calls special election for Trustee District VII

In order to comply with Texas’ school finance law, Houston ISD trustees on Thursday called a special election to let voters decide whether they are willing to send an estimated $162 million in local tax dollars to the state of Texas.

Under Texas law, HISD is now considered a “wealthy” school district because of rising property values, even though three-quarters of all students come from low-income households. As a result, HISD is being asked to pay the state about $162 million later this fiscal year. That payment cannot be made unless voters approve.

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HISD’s Procurement Services receives national recognition

HISD’s Procurement Services has been honored with the 2016 Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award  from the National Procurement Institute. HISD is one of a select group of school districts in the U.S. to receive this award, which recognizes excellence in the field. Achievement of Excellence in Procurement2

Procurement Services is made up of a team of experts who facilitate everything related to the purchasing of materials and supplies for HISD. This prestigious award acknowledges the team’s support of HISD students, faculty, and staff. Procurement Services will be recognized at the 48th Annual NPI Conference, which takes place Oct. 9-12 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

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Texas legislative session yields victories for public education

The Texas Legislature convened from January to June of 2015. More than 100 bills passed related to public education.

According to Government Relations Director Ashlea Graves, one of the biggest victories for HISD was the passage of Senate Bill 1004, which gives all school districts in Harris County the ability to work with the four community college systems operating inside its boundaries: Houston Community College, Lone Star, San Jacinto, and Lee.

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HISD Board of Education gets first glimpse of 2015-2016 recommended budget

Despite decreasing state funds, district continues to emphasize competitive salaries for teachers and principals as well as increased bilingual stipends

Under the state’s current funding structure, the Houston Independent School District could lose $46.4 million in state funds for the 2015-2016 school year because of rising property values throughout the city.

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Sharpstown HS breaks ground for new school

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Sharpstown High School students, staff and alumni were joined by elected officials and business representatives Saturday morning for a groundbreaking ceremony for the school’s new 21st century campus.

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HISD outlines district’s legislative priorities

capitolWith the 84th Texas State Legislature set to convene on Jan. 13 at the State Capitol in Austin, school finance is at the top of HISD’s legislative agenda.

The district will carry a strong position on equitable state funding that will increase state dollars for academics for pre-K through 12th grade, particularly at-risk and bilingual students, in addition to improvements in college readiness for all students and funding for full day pre-K.

HISD’s Governmental Relations team will attend the 140-day regular session, in which lawmakers will budget how state money is spent over the next two years beginning in September. The Texas Comptroller’s office recently announced that the state has $113 billion in revenue available to spend in 2016 and 2017.

Click here to read a list of HISD’s legislative priorities.