It is often wondered if walls could talk, what secrets they could tell. But for Security Maintenance dispatcher Kenneth Johnson, walls don’t talk. They see.
Johnson is responsible for reviewing the security cameras for all HISD’s campuses and buildings. He ensures that customer care and security for the district is kept to the highest standards.
“If there are any emergencies that come about, any technical difficulties with our security systems in the campuses, my job is to have them solved promptly,” Johnson said. “It is critical for our staff and for our students that we know of these and solve them. Security is always our priority.”
A dispatcher since 2009, Johnson is assigned to the night shift. He arrives at his post early to review what the cameras have monitored throughout the day. Continue reading →
The trauma of Hurricane Harvey continues to affect students in HISD and across the Houston area, HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza told a behavioral health collaborative on Friday.
Representatives from more than 20 school districts gathered at the Center for School Behavioral Health collaborative luncheon at the United Way for an update on what HISD is doing to meet the mental health needs of students and teachers in the wake of the hurricane.
HISD Superintendent Carranza spoke about how critically important social and emotional services are to ensure that students are ready to learn. Continue reading →
A traveling fine arts exhibit of doors known as Project aDOORe will stop at Hermann Park’s Lake Plaza on Saturday, March 3 at noon as part of Hermann Park’s 8th annual Student Performance Series.
Project aDOORe Houston aims to strengthen school communities that were most impacted by Hurricane Harvey by providing students with a means to heal through the creation of art. Students from 26 HISD campuses turned doors from storm-damaged homes into works of art that have been showcased throughout the city. Continue reading →
As HISD continues to prepare a budget for the 2018-19 school year, the district anticipates a projected deficit reduction from $208 million to $115 million. This revised deficit includes several budget assumptions related to Hurricane Harvey relief and pending litigation.
When HISD first began budgeting for the 2018-2019 school year, it was in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Using a worst-case scenario, the district’s financial team projected a $208 million deficit based on four dynamic factors: the Local Optional Homestead Exemption (LOHE) lawsuit, a recapture payment to the state, a potential property tax value decreaseand an anticipated student enrollment decline. District administrators crafted a revised budget outlook for the 2018-19 school year.
The district’s legal team feels confident that the state will prevail in the LOHE lawsuit. For HISD, this means a reduction in its recapture payment because the TEA will recognize half of the 20 percent local homestead exemption given to homeowners. A decision in the lawsuit could come after a hearing this spring. A win would reduce HISD’s recapture payment by $51 million.
Under the Texas Education Code, TEA Commissioner Mike Morath has the authority to adjust property values. Based on the damage sustained from Hurricane Harvey and the lasting impact of the storm on our students and staff, we anticipate the commissioner will adjust property values, which in turn, would reduce our recapture payment. Governor Greg Abbott, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, and other state leaders have publicly stated their support for this action. Click here to review a September 2017 press release from Lt. Governor Dan Patrick that confirms his support for schools districts in Region IV impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which includes HISD. In addition, Commissioner Morath surveyed school districts after the hurricane to gather projections on their property tax collections post-Harvey. HISD estimates a $42 million adjustment for property value loss associated with Hurricane Harvey.
In addition, the HISD Board of Education favors a district budget performance review to be conducted by a firm that has previously worked with large school district budgets. An agenda item is anticipated for the April 2018 board meeting. If approved, an immediate audit would begin with a completion date set for the end of the year.
Financial impact of Harvey and recapture creating deficit for 2018-2019 school year
As HISD begins to prepare a budget for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year, the district is estimating a $208 million shortfall as result of the financial impact of Hurricane Harvey and recapture.
HISD has seen a decline in student enrollment and is planning for a further decline for the coming school year, which will mean a decrease in state funding. The district also anticipates the storm will have a significant impact on the city’s property values, which will be released in April 2018. HISD’s main source of funding is property tax dollars. To date, the district has received no indication of how much and when they’ll be reimbursed for Harvey-related expenditures.
These factors, combined with the district’s 2018-2019 recapture payment, is creating an estimated $208 million deficit and is requiring HISD to make difficult choices about how funds will be allocated at the school and district level for the upcoming 2018-2019 school year. Continue reading →
Chief Operating Officer Brian Busby received the President’s Award in recognition of the outstanding work the Business Operations unit has performed in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
The award was given at the Jan. 18 board meeting by outgoing Board of Education President Wanda Adams, who noted Business Operations’ “dedication, commitment and support to HISD and of the Houston community in wake of Hurricane Harvey.” Continue reading →
Just in time for the new year, the HISD Police Department received a donation of kayaks, rescue gear and other emergency equipment secured by District II Board Trustee Rhonda Skillern-Jones.
“During Hurricane Harvey, I witnessed our police department’s efforts assisting people get to higher ground using every resource we had – buses, SUVs and cars,” Trustee Skillern-Jones said. “If we are going to be a part of rescue efforts, we need to ensure our officers are equipped with safe equipment that allows them do so.” Continue reading →
Children and their parents lined up at the doors of Robinson Elementary School on Monday morning, eager to see inside their newly renovated and repaired school, which sustained significant damage from Hurricane Harvey in August.
As one student stood bewildered looking up and down the hallways, Principal Paige Fernandez-Hohos stepped in. “Who is your teacher? What grade are you looking for?” she asked. After getting the information, Fernandez escorted the little girl down the correct hallway toward the third-grade classrooms.
“It definitely feels like the first day of school in August, just because of the new building and kids aren’t always 100 percent sure of where they are going, and teachers have a new schedule,” Fernandez-Hohos said, noting the help the campus has received in getting ready for the first day back. Continue reading →
HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza and the Houston ISD Foundation are making the holidays a little merrier for several hundred members of Team HISD affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Earlier this week, about 400 staff members received an email and video from Carranza informing them that they were the recipient of a special grant to help them recover from the storm.
“When I got the email, I just started crying,” said Booker. T. Washington High School clerk Kimberly Grover. “We lost everything in the storm, and I didn’t think my kids and I would even be able to have a Christmas, but because of this we will.” Continue reading →
Sunday’s Pop Up Shop for families impacted by Hurricane Harvey has been canceled.
The Pop Up Shop was previously scheduled to take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 17, at Butler Stadium. An alternative time and date for the Pop Up Shop is pending for after the holidays, and HISD will broadcast that information as soon as it becomes available.