Board of Education Meeting Agenda

March 12, 2020

Budget Workshop Recap

Last Thursday at the Agenda Review meeting, the Board participated in its first budget workshop of the year. The administration presented a balanced budget, with $11 million set aside to maintain employee health insurance rates and $24 million for employee salaries. HISD will have to pay $60 million in excess revenue (formerly called recapture) and the only increase to the Per Unit Allocation (PUA) will be to cover salary increases from last year. For more details, see the Houston Chronicle overview.

Core Value Evaluation: Stewardship and Leadership

While administration is responsible for presenting the proposed budget, trustees have the opportunity to demonstrate stewardship and leadership by setting goals and priorities to help drive budget decisions.

Key Agenda Items:

*More details on each item can be found below this list
  • (A.2) Approval of the Board Monitoring Update (Goal 1 Progress Measure 1, Goal 3 Progress Measure 1 and 2)
  • (B.1) Board’s Time Use Tracker For January and February 2020
  • (D.1) Recommended Instructional Materials for 2020 – 2021
  • (I.1) Vendor Awards for Purchases over $100,000
  • (I.2) Donations for Districtwide and School-Specific Programs
  • (I.3) Grant Funds in Support of Districtwide and School-Specific Programs

Impact (I), Leadership (L), Equity (E), Stewardship (S), Collaboration (C)

A.2 Approval of the Board Monitoring Update (Goal 1 Progress Measure 1, Goal 3 Progress Measure 1 and 2) (I)

The Board must approve the board monitoring update for Goal 1 Progress Measure 1 and Goal 3 Progress Measure 1 and 2.

Goal 1 states “The percentage of students reading and writing at or above grade level as measured by the percent of students at the Meets Grade Level standard on STAAR for grade 3 through English II shall increase by three percentage points annually from 37% to 46% between spring 2017 and spring 2020.”

Goal 3 states “Among students who exhibit below satisfactory performance on state assessments, the percentage who demonstrate at least one year of academic growth, as measured by the STAAR Progress Measure, shall increase three percentage points annually in reading and in math from 57 percent in spring 2017 to 66 percent in spring 2020.”

B.1 Board’s Time Use Tracker For January and February 2020 (L)

The Board must approve the Board Time Use Tracker for January and February 2020 to be in compliance with the Lone Star Governance continuous improvement timeline.

D.1 Recommended Instructional Materials for 2020 – 2021 (I)

The Board must approve the recommended instructional materials for the 2020 – 2021 school year. This is specifically for high school English language arts and reading classes and English as a second language classes. The recommendations are made by the Instructional Materials Allotment Team (IMAT), which reviews State Board of Education requirements and district priorities when making selections.

I.1 Vendor Awards for Purchases over $100,000 (S, L)

The Board needs to approve vendor awards greater than $100,000 and ratify vendor awards under $100,000.

List of Vendors: Hercules Achievement Inc, dba Herff Jones LLC; Southern Floral Company; The French Corner Catering; Deli Management Inc, dba Jason’s Deli; Freeman Decorating Co., dba Freeman Expositions, LLC dba Freeman; BDO USA, LLP; Deloitte & Touche, LLP; Horn Solutions, Inc.; McConnell & Jones, LLP; Postlethwaite and Netterville, APAC; Whitley Penn, LLP; Weaver and Tidwell, LLP; Brink’s Inc.; Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services Inc.; Skyline Equipment Inc.; All in Learning; WRM dba Southwaste Disposal LLC; Fireton, Inc; IA Lodging Houston Galleria TRS, L.P., dba Westin Houston Galleria Hotel; APC Brands dba American Parks Company; Lone Star Recreation of Texas, LLC; May Recreation Equipment & Design, LP; PlayPower LT Farmington, Inc.; Pinnacle Medical Management; Cherish Our Children Inc. dba No More Victims; Renika Atkins DBA Resources Inspiring Success and Empowering.

I.2 Donations for Districtwide and School-Specific Programs (S, L)

All donations greater than $5,000 must be approved by the HISD Board of Education.To see the full list of vendors, visit our website.

List of donors: Alliantgroup via The HISD Foundation; HSPVA Friends; Joseph Francis; Luis Lebron; Texas A&M University; Travis ES PTA; T.H. Rogers PTO; Wharton Dual Language Academy PTO.

I.3 Grant Funds in Support of Districtwide and School-Specific Programs (S, L)

All grant funds greater than $5,000 must be approved by the HISD Board of Education. To see the full list of vendors, visit our website.

List of grantors: Good Reason Houston; Hanban; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthy Tomorrows Partnership for Children Program.

Other agenda items to be voted on during the meeting:

  • (A.1) Approval of personal services performed by the Superintendent.
  • (H.1) Approval to negotiate a construction contract for a funning track at Lawson MS.
  • (H.2) Approval to negotiate a construction contract for athletic upgrades at Sterling HS.
  • (H.3) Approval to negotiate an agreement with the SPARK Program for construction of SPARK Parks at Anderson ES, Arabic Immersion Magnet School, Braeburn ES, Carrillo ES, Franklin ES, Montgomery ES, and Jane Long Academy.
  • (I.4) Approval for the purchase of property insurance and authority to negotiate the purchase of $250M of property insurance coverage.

What should the Board be doing in March?

1. The HISD school board should finalize drafts of their student outcome goals, constraints, and theory of action to guide administration as they plan for next school year and finalize the proposed budget. According to their Governance Strategic Plan, a draft of the goals should have been finished and available for public comment by the end of January. The Board has a deadline for HB 3 required goals in June.

2. Last June, the HISD Board had to convene for a last-minute special meeting to pass a budget for the 2019 – 2020 school year. In order to prevent another last-minute budget vote next summer, the HISD Board needs to collaboratively and collectively set its budget priorities so the administration can create a budget proposal based on those priorities. The first budget workshop for next year was on March 5 and the Board still has not provided clear priorities or governance framework for the administration to use as a guide.

Outstanding Issues:

3. HISD should start identifying teachers and principals for the next school year to ensure there are no teacher or administrative vacancies. It should be utilizing the teacher pipelines, such as Teach Forward Houston, so every student will have a teacher for all of their classes before the start of the 2020 – 2021 school year.

4. The HISD Board should terminate their legal actions against the TEA. The Board is using taxpayers’ dollars from unassigned funds, running HISD into a deeper deficit, to pay for their lawyers. So far, the Board has accrued a $283,575.63 bill for their lawyers, which ONLY covers April 2019 through December 2019.

5. The Houston ISD Board of Education should be editing the language and changes of their in-district charter agreements. If the policies are set at the beginning of the year, the Board should be able to accept charter agreements by the end of the calendar year and approve them in January, avoiding the potential of closing a school in April or May.

6. The HISD Board should look into partnerships for HISD schools that may be Improvement Required (IR) in the following year. According to the TEA, this process should have started in November. The final deadline for submission is at the end of March.