Houston ISD Board Workshop Highlights
The Houston ISD School Board is updating their board operating procedures and finalizing their goals and constraints: their self-constraints. Last Thursday, February 1, 2024, the Board met to dig into these topics. Here are the highlights:
The Board keeps circling back to public accessibility and engagement.
Policies covered by the board operating procedures touch on issues like information accessibility, community engagement, and transparency.
Throughout the Board’s conversation, members made clear that these issues are on their mind as they consider policy updates. Members see the operating procedures as a way to be clear and transparent about their processes. They generally hope to achieve a closer connection with the HISD community.
A focus for the board is to make board meetings more accessible to the public. Members discussed ways to reduce meeting times to convey information more effectively for the public and ensure the board room is a space that community members feel comfortable sharing their feedback with the board.
The work on the board operating procedures is ongoing, but as Board President Audrey Momanaee said, students must continue to be at the forefront of discussions, even with board operating procedures.
The Board wants to implement a lasting accountability framework
The Board grappled with the framework they need to put in place to not only hold themselves accountable but also set a future elected board up for success. Accountability will be incorporated into the board operating procedures manual and board members proposed a process to individually sign off on the policy each year.
One of the means the school board has to center student needs in their work is through self-constraints. These are specific measures for which the Board will hold themselves accountable. Board members walked through an exercise where they discussed the future they wanted to see for HISD students and the barriers, including their own actions, to realizing that future. Board members named using their time appropriately by prioritizing substance and students over procedure at their meetings and ensuring they focus on their role of governance over operations.
The board is likely to vote on specific self-constraints at the March regular board meeting. As this process unfolds, be sure to follow our blog and social media channels to stay updated on the HISD board.