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Policy Priorities

Defining Equity in HISD

In order to help realize our vision of equity in HISD, Houston GPS compiled 8 recommendations to help shape a district-wide definition of equity in HISD.

Districts of Innovation

Becoming a District of Innovation would allow HISD to implement changes that could help address achievement gaps and put HISD students on track with other districts. 

Advocacy Spotlight

Turning advocacy into action: Houston GPS push for external performance led to increased district efficiency

We incredibly proud of our push to bring a comprehensive, external performance audit to the district. After a $107 million budget shortfall, we asked every 2017 school board candidate to request an external performance audit of the budget to make sure they were spending every dollar in the best interest of students. All candidates publicly pledged to request such an audit by the end of February 2018. 

With five elected trustees committed to the performance audit, the Board was able to get the votes to move forward, albeit later than the original February pledge. The district partnered with the Legislative Budget Board, marking the first time in nearly 25 years that HISD had an external performance review.

The LBB Management and Performance Review was received by the district on November 8, 2019. It showed that many of the structures and programs in the district operated inefficiently and without much oversight. The final report included 94 recommendations to save the district money. 

While the district is still in the process of implementing the changes outlined by the LBB, many have already gone into effect. The school board continues to grapple with how to set budget priorities to best serve our students, but encouragingly, they remain committed to reviewing district operations.  The pledge we secured has left a lasting impact on the board, who set a self-constraint to ensure HISD received an LBB review at least every five years.

The Houston GPS team remains focused on holding school board members accountable and ultimately, improving student outcomes.

Resources

  • Because there are several similarities between DISD and HISD, the patterns of improvement we have seen in DISD could help improve the quality of education in HISD. The following report will describe the goals and results of various initiatives taken by Dallas ISD and some of the changes that occurred in the past few years.

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