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Key Agenda Items

Board Of Education Meeting Agenda

May 12, 2022

*More details on each item and additional areas of concern during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found below the list.

  • (A.2) (Agenda Review on 5/5/22) Acceptance of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation of Goals 1 and 4 Progress Measures 1, 2, and 3

  • (B.2) Review and Discuss Legislative Budget Board Recommendations for the Houston Independent School District Board of Education and Board Self Constraints

  • (F.2) Authority to Negotiate and Execute Contract with Teach for America for the District’s Summer Learning Program

  • (H.1) Authority to Negotiate, Execute, and Amend a Construction Contract for a Pet Clinic at Mirabeau Lamar High School

  • (I.2) Donations for Districtwide and School-Specific Programs

  • (I.3) Grant Funds in Support of District-wide and School-Specific Programs

  • (I.4) Approval of the May General Fund Budget Amendment.

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

A.2 (Agenda Review on 5/5/22) Acceptance of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation of Goals 1 and 4 Progress Measures 1, 2, and 3 (I)

The Board must approve the monitoring update for Goals 1 and 4.

Goal 1: The percentage of 3rd grade students performing at or above grade level in reading as measured by the Meets Grade Level Standard on STAAR will increase 8 percentage points from 42% in spring 2019 to 50% in spring 2024.

Goal 4: The percentage of students receiving special education services reading at or above grade level as measured by the Meets Grade Level Standard on the STAAR 3–8 Reading and STAAR EOC English I and II assessments will increase 8 percentage points from 21% in spring 2019 to 29% in spring 2024.

Core Value Evaluation: Impact

The Board has set a self-constraint to spend at least 50% of its time monitoring student outcomes (as recommended by Lone Star Governance) by the second quarter of 2022, which ends in June 2022. The monthly Board Monitoring Update is the Board’s almost exclusive opportunity to discuss student outcome goals, which means this item should increasingly take up more of Board meetings. The Board has not yet met its constraint target, and with only two months to go, it must buckle down to keep its governance focused on students. Houston GPS calculates the student outcome time percentage for each month using both the regular and agenda review meetings, however, the Board has spent a substantial amount of time engaged in workshops as part of its budget process, further percent of time devoted to student progress monitoring.

B.2 Review and Discuss Legislative Budget Board Recommendations for the Houston Independent School District Board of Education and Board Self Constraints (S, I)

The Board will discuss the recommendations made for the Board by the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) as part of its 2019 performance audit, along with the self-constraints the Board has set for itself.

Core Value Evaluation: Stewardship and Impact

As part of a comprehensive performance audit in 2019, the LBB offered recommendations for both the administration and the HISD Board. The administration has provided updates in the past as to its progress on the LBB recommendations and this is the Board’s opportunity to discuss its activities in response to the suggestions directed at district governance. Additionally, the Board has set five self-constraints to guide how it governs the district, however, it has not thoroughly discussed how to hold itself accountable for these limits. In particular, the constraint on the amount of time the board spends discussing student outcomes has a clear deadline at the end of June 2022 and the Board is not currently on target to meet the stated metrics. We hope this item offers the opportunity for a robust discussion about accountability.

F.2 Authority to Negotiate and Execute Contract with Teach for America for the District’s Summer Learning Program  (I)

The Board will consider a contract to partner with Teach for America (TFA) for corp members to serve during HISD’s Summer Learning Program. HISD, like many districts, is facing teacher shortages, so expanding the partnership with TFA can help maintain a pipeline for recruiting teachers to the district and fill needed positions for summer learning.

H.1 Authority to Negotiate, Execute, and Amend a Construction Contract for a Pet Clinic at Mirabeau Lamar High School  (E, I)

The Board will consider a contract to build out a pet clinic at Lamar High School in an unused space that was developed as part of the 2012 bond. CTE programs like the pet clinic offer students valuable technical skills and align with the Board’s goal of increasing career and college readiness in the district. However, following agenda review, there are lingering questions in terms of equity concerning how money is allocated to schools for CTE program development and if this particular project is being covered centrally or from the school’s own budget.

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.

Vendors: Labatt Food Service; BrightBytes Inc; Garda CL Southwest, Inc; DM Electrical and Construction, LLC; Earl L Warren dba Peace of Mind Comfort Solutions; Ohms Corporation dba Ohms Electrical Services; Todd & Troy Electrical Contractors dba TNT Electrical Contractors; Young Electrical Services, Inc.; Ion Wave Technologies, Inc.; Zonar Systems, Inc; Cambium Assessment, Inc.; NCS Pearson, Inc.; Region IV Education Service Center; Population and Survey Analysts, Inc. (PASA); Quizizz, Inc.; Renzulli Learning, LLC; WeVideo, Inc; Tools for Schools, Inc.; A Status Construction, LLC; JR Thomas Group, Inc.; Fiesta Mart, LLC; SchoolMint, Inc.; Pear Deck, Inc.; Shipcom Wireless, Inc; Motorola Solutions; College Possible.

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.

Donors: Enrichment Services Inc.; Family and Friends of Ashia Tircuit; FanAngel Foundation, Inc.; Future Stars of Houston; HISD Foundation; Mandarin Immersion Magnet School (MIMS) Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO); Port Terminal Railroad Association; Republic Service, Inc.; Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center (MSTC) PTO; Smart Financial Credit Union; The Discover Brighter Futures Fund via Goldman Sachs; Wharton PTO; William B. Travis Foundation, Inc.; WithMerci Foundation; Young Audiences of Houston; Office Depot.

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.

Grantors: City of Houston Health Department; DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation; Houston Endowment Inc.; Mobile County Public School System (MCPSS); Office of the Governor (OOG) / Criminal Justice Division; Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA); Texas Education Agency (TEA); 

I.4 Approval of the May General Fund Budget Amendment (S, L)

The Board will consider the May budget amendment with appropriations due to rising food costs and budget-neutral amendments. Notably, some of the budget-neutral amendments transfer funds earmarked for functions like plant maintenance and instructional materials to the general instruction function.

Other agenda items to be voted on during the meeting:

  • (A.1) Approval of personal services performed by the Superintendent.
  • (B.1) Appointment of Myrna Guidry as the HISD representative to the Texas Association of School Boards Board of Directors for Region 4, Position D.
  • (E.1) Approval to renew the contract between Westbury High School and Harris County Resources for Children and Adults for the Community Youth Services Program.
  • (F.1) Certification that the District’s instructional materials cover all state standards in the required curriculum.
  • (G.1) Authority to Negotiate an interlocal partnership agreement with Prairie View A&M University for a Master of Educational Leadership Cohort.
  • (I.5) Designation of Glenn Reid and other personnel for calculation of the District’s No-New-Revenue Tax Rate and Voter-Approval Tax Rate for tax year 2022 and subsequent years.
  • (L.1) Receipt of the District’s Budget to Actual Report.

Areas of Concern:

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a challenge for the district in terms of student safety and learning. The Board must continue to address the effects of the pandemic, while still continuing regular district operations. Houston GPS would like to highlight the following areas of concern:

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent interruptions to HISD’s normal learning schedule exacerbated inequities amongst students. Many students struggled with remote learning, with 51% of students failing at least one class in the fall 2020 semester. Data quality concerns persisted during the 2020-2021 school year, making it difficult for the district to accurately monitor student outcomes. Now two years later, with ESSER funding expanding the possibilities for addressing learning loss and inequity, the Board and the district must continue to monitor and focus on student outcomes and innovative ways to support students. The district has release a new dashboard for the public to monitor ESSER spending. As the Board nears the end of their budget process for next year, the Board should continue to focus on closing gaps that have only been widened by the inequity of the pandemic by carefully using the limited resources at its disposal and capitolizing on the one-time ESSER allocations.
  1. In June 2020, the Board made a commitment to examine the role of police in the district to confront systemic racism and police violence against people of color. Considering the disproportionate discipline and forced interaction with police that students of color, especially black boys, face in public education, this is a pressing equity concern. In December 2020, Board members expressed interest in having a second workshop on the topic and planned to organize the workshop for January or February 2021. The Board’s committee has been disbanded and some trustees have indicated that changes were made to police procedure. The police policy manual is now available online for the public to review, however, several trustees still have questions about the changes that were made. In September 2021, the Board publicly agreed to have another meeting focused on this issue. This meeting still has not been publicly posted.
  1. In the past, the Board has faced last-minute changes to the district budget and budget approval votes that cut close to the deadline for the district. Over the last two years, the Board was able to pass a budget without delaying until the end of June, but the district has passed a deficit budget in at least the last five years, often subject to delays. Considering the district is planning to make substantial changes to accommodate the new strategic plan, careful budget planning is necessary. The Board and Administration have been engaged in the public budget process for six budget workshops. To see the proposed budget and updates, take a look at the District’s budget page. The Board must collaborate to ensure the budget is passed within a reasonable timeframe, not subject to late amendments, and fiscally sound, which means addressing any concerns with administration long before the deadline at the end of June. Considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of ESSER funding, the Board and administration must now also be thinking about how to maintain the new programs and funding for student support when resources are no longer available. To see our past budget recommendations, visit our blog.