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Key Agenda Items

Board Of Education Meeting Agenda

May 13, 2021

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

  • (A.2) Acceptance Of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation Of Goal 2 Progress Measures 1, 2, And 3

  • (K.1) Approval of Proposed Revisions to Board Policy CE(LOCAL), Annual Operating Budget—First Reading 

  • (F.2) F.2 Authority to Negotiate, Execute, and Amend Service Contract Agreements with the International Baccalaureate Organization and Texas International Baccalaureate Schools

  • (F.3) Authority to Negotiate and Execute an Interlocal Agreement with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for Certain Telehealth Services

  • (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 District-wide and School-Specific Programs

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

  • (K.1) Approval of Proposed Revisions to Board Policy AE(LOCAL), Educational Philosophy, Regarding Constraints—First Reading 

 

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

A.2 Acceptance of Board Monitoring Update: Presentation of Goal 2 Progress Measures 1, 2, And 3 (I)

The Board must approve the monitoring update for Goal 2.

Goal 2 states: The percentage of grade 3 students performing at or above grade level in math as measured by the Meets Grade Level Standard on STAAR will increase 8 percentage points from 46 percent in spring 2019 to 54 percent 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. 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 must work toward this commitment to better serve our students.

K.1 Approval of Proposed Revisions to Board Policy CE(LOCAL), Annual Operating Budget—First Reading (E, S, L)

The Board is asked to approve revisions to its Annual Operating Budget policy, which will update sections no longer applied to the annual budget, add monthly budget amendments and the quarterly budget to actual reporting requirements, update fund balance examples, and add a general fund unassigned fund balance target. It also contains language to remove the school carryover policy, which prior to 2017 allowed campuses to carry over unused dollars to the next year’s budget.

Core Value Evaluation: Equity, Stewardship, and Leadership

Removing the carryover policy presents some equity concerns the Board should consider. Schools that have smaller budgets are less likely to be able to afford major expenses within one school year. Allowing principals to use spillover funds from previous years could allow these schools to save up for needed resources. While some trustees are concerned that affluent schools will benefit most from the carryover policy, the change would not necessarily lead to a more equitable distribution of money. Returning spillover money to central office doesn’t mean the money will go to under-resourced schools. Affluent schools are always going to be able to fund their bells and whistles through donations, fundraising, and sponsorships. The trustees need to consider how to best frame policy to ensure schools that don’t have easy access to those avenues can still afford major expenses that students need and some bells and whistles of their own. 

F.2 Authority to Negotiate, Execute, and Amend Service Contract Agreements with the International Baccalaureate Organization and Texas International Baccalaureate Schools (E, I)

The Board will consider approving service agreements to provide International Baccalaureate programs in the district. Currently, HISD has IB programs on 43 campuses and is working to expand offerings to 19 more schools, including 4 more by fall 2021. The agreements include resources for teachers and program evaluation. The district centrally sets a budget to cover application fees for 9 campuses that are implementing the program and all student fees for IB exams.

F.3 Authority to Negotiate and Execute an Interlocal Agreement with the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for Certain Telehealth Services (E, I)

The Board will consider approving an agreement with UT Health Science Center for mental health services provided via telehealth. The services would not cost the district and, while only available for a set number of students, the agreement would prioritize students most in need of services through referrals from the Social/Emotional Learning department.

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: BenCheri Educational Center; D.A.R.E. AMERICA; Dallas Ecological Foundation dba Outdoors Tomorrow Foundation; Teen and Police Service Academy; The KNEW Solutions; There is Life After Life; Instructure, Inc.; A & F Elevator Company, Inc.; Elevator Repair Service, Inc. dba E.R.S., Inc. Elevator Transportation Services, Inc.; EMR Elevator, Inc.; Prestige Elevator Services LLC; Basic IDIQ, Inc.; Bauer Sport Floors, Inc.; Brandt Constructors & Facility Services, LLC; Post Oak Construction, LLC; Westco Ventures, LLC; ABM Industry Groups, LLC; RNA Michigan Holdings, LLC dba RNA Facilities Management; Paragon Sports Constructors; PTI Sports & Recreation Construction; Brothers Produce, Inc.; Soji Services, Inc. dba Metroclean Commercial Services; A YANCY Life Transition Center; Brightways Learning; Center for the Collaborative Classroom; Cloud 9 World, Corp.; EduGuide; Franklin Covey; Moving Forward Institute; NCS Pearson, Inc.; Rethink Autism, Inc.; Success for ALL Foundation; SHI Government Solutions, Inc.; Data Projections, Inc.; Communities in Schools of Houston, Inc.; Caldwell Country Chevrolet, LLC, dba Caldwell Country Chevrolet; Caldwell Country Ford dba Rockdale Country Ford; Chastang Enterprise, Inc.; Cowboy Motor Co., LC dba Moore Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram; Donalson-Hiner Automotive Group, Inc. dba Silsbee Toyota Silsbee Ford Inc.; Southwest International Trucks, Inc.; ManageBac, Inc.; Methods & Solutions, Inc. dba MindPlay; American Eagle Co. Inc. dba Teachers Discovery Inc.; Cushman & Wakefield of Texas, Inc.; Balfour Campus Supply, LLC; ACP Direct; Audio Visual Aids Co; AVES Audio Visual Systems, Inc.; B&H Foto & Electronic Corp.; Troxell Communications, Inc.; LRP Publications; MCA Communications, Inc.; Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless; Battelle for Kids; Campus Online, Inc. dba Education Resource Group; Cybersoft Technologies, Inc. dba Cybersoft PrimeroEdge; Dun & Bradstreet, Inc.; Campus Online, Inc. dba Education Resource Group; iBridge Group, Inc.; Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc.; Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc.; Cengage Learning, Inc.; Coughlan Companies, LLC dba Capstone; Cox Subscriptions, Inc. dba WT Cox Information Services; Follett School Solutions, Inc.; GL Group, Inc. dba Booksource, The Booksource, The Booksource, Inc.; Hertzberg-New Method, Inc. dba Perma-Bound Books; Keystone Books & Media, Inc.; Library Sales, Inc. dba Sebco Books; Mackin Book Company dba Mackin Educational Resources; National Education Systems, Inc.; SDE, Inc. dba Stenhouse Publishers and dba Staff Development for Educators; Textbook Warehouse, LLC dba Textbook Warehouse; T-Mobile USA Inc.; Astrocare Visiting Health Professionals, Inc.; Katy Dreamweaver Home Health Services, LLC; Maxim Healthcare Services Holdings, Inc. dba Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc.; RCM Technologies (USA), Inc. dba RCM Health Care Services; Cumberland Therapy Services, LLC; EBS Healthcare, Inc. dba EBS Educational Based Services; Harris County Department of Education; Invo HealthCare Associates, LLC; Gary D. Stromberg & Associates, LLC; Maxim Healthcare Services Holdings, Inc. dba Maxim Healthcare Services, Inc.; New Direction Solutions, LLC dba Bilingual Therapies; Prime HealthCare Staffing, Inc.; Specialized Assessments & Consulting, LLC; Therapia Staffing, LLC; Therapy Staff, LLC; Maxi Aids, Inc.; N2Y, LLC; Triple-S Steel Holdings, Inc. dba Alamo Iron Works; Central National Gottesman, Inc. dba Lindenmeyr Munroe.

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: Houston Independent School District (HISD) Foundation on behalf of the Astros Foundation; Houston Texans Foundation; HSPVA Friends; Briarmeadow Parent Teacher Organization (PTO); Change Happens! via the Rockwell Fund; J & J Line Trucking, LLC; Kids in Need Foundation (KINF); T.H. Rogers 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.

Grantors: Asia Society Confucius Classrooms Network; Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) and the Education Foundation of Harris County (EFHC); HCDE and the EFHC; Project Lead the Way (PLTW) in Partnership with Chevron Houston; Texas Education Agency (TEA); USA Swimming Foundation; Verizon in Partnership with Heart of America and Arizona State University (ASU); Good Reason Houston (GRH).

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

The board is asked to approve a budget amendment, which includes adjustments for a one-time employee stipend, additional sources of funding and reimbursement, increased average daily attendance, temporary insurance expenditures related to winter storm damage, and budget-neutral adjustments between departments.

K.2 Approval of Proposed Revisions to Board Policy AE(LOCAL), Educational Philosophy, Regarding Constraints—First Reading (I, L)

The Board will consider revisions to its adopted goals to update the goal and constraint progress measures, including adding in baselines and targets for Constraint 1, 4, and 5 progress measures. These should be the final revisions of the Goals and Constraints the Board set last fall. A full outline of the changes is available in the agenda.

Other agenda items to be voted on during the meeting:

  • (A.1) Approval of personal services performed by the Superintendent. 
  • (D.1) Certification that the District’s instructional materials cover all state standards in the required curriculum.
  • (D.2) Approval of the proposed 2021–2022 local calendar for the School Leader Appraisal System (SLAS).
  • (D.3) Approval of the proposed 2021–2022 local calendar for the Teacher Appraisal and Development System (TADS).
  • (D.4) Approval of the proposed 2021–2022 local calendar for the Central Office and Campus-Based Non-Teacher Appraisal System.
  • (D.5) Approval to submit course waiver requests for Texas Connections Academy at Houston to the Texas Education Agency to certify courses meet state virtual learning standards.
  • (F.1) Authority to negotiate an interlocal agreement with Texas A&M University-Commerce to increase the number of District students and employees earning undergraduate and graduate degrees.
  • (F.3) Authority to negotiate and execute an interlocal agreement with the City of Houston to provide gang and delinquency intervention and prevention services.
  • (I.5) Designation of personnel for calculation of District’s No-New-Revenue Tax Rate and Voter-Approval Tax Rate as required by state law.
  • (J.1) Approval of the 2021–2022 panel of law firms to provide legal services for the district.

Areas of Concern:

Although normal school board operations have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still items the school board must address and new areas of concern created by the current crisis. Houston GPS would like to highlight the following items:

  1. The closure of the district, while necessary to ensure the safety of the HISD community, exacerbated inequities amongst students. Many students struggled with remote learning, with 42% of students failing at least one class in the first grading period. The addition of face-to-face learning comes with potential disruptions to maintain the safety of students and staff. Data quality concerns persist due to the pandemic and they must be addressed moving forward if remote assessments are given so the Board can accurately monitor student outcomes. As the school year winds down, the Board should also be looking ahead to challenges that students will face next year in recovering from learning loss during the pandemic.
  1. In June, 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, Board members expressed interest in having a second workshop on the topic and planned to organize the workshop for January or February. Moving into May, the Board needs to revisit this commitment by moving forward with proposed changes or organizing an additional workshop to follow up on the conversation.
  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. Last year, the Board was able to pass a budget without delaying until the end of June, but this was the first time in several years. To ensure the budget is passed within a reasonable timeframe and not subject to late amendments, the Board should discuss any amendments they would like to make to the proposed 2021-2022 budget prior to the June regular board meeting.