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Posts Tagged ‘HISD’

Interview with Sean Cheben

We come to the end of my interviews in HISD Trustee District V, to succeed the outgoing Mike Lunceford. There are four candidates in the race but i have done three interviews, which is mostly a reflection of how much time I have available. Today’s candidate is Sean Cheben, a Houston native and Clear Creek […]

Interview with Sue Deigaard

We continue with interviews of candidates who seek to win the HISD Trustee seat held by the retiring Mike Lunceford. Sue Deigaard was the first member of her family to go to college, receiving two degrees from Rice University. She has a long record of volunteer service as a parent representative on HISD’s District Advisory […]

A couple of race updates

The county slate is one step closer to being filled out for 2018, as Josh Wallenstein has announced his intent to run for the HCDE At Large Position 3 Trustee seat that Diane Trautman is giving up to challenge Stan Stanart. I had a brief chat with Wallenstein via Facebook over the weekend, but as […]

Interview with Kara DeRocha

We move now to another district with a retiring Trustee. Mike Lunceford has served District V for two terms, and despite some confusion at the end of last year about his intentions, has decided to call it a career as a member of the HISD Board. Four candidates are vying to succeed him, and I […]

Interview with Gretchen Himsl

Today we wrap up the series of interviews with candidates in HISD District I with Gretchen Himsl. Gretchen is a Policy Analyst for Children at Risk, an education-focused nonprofit that among other things puts out an annual evaluation of all area schools, and also works for the Children’s Learning Institute at UTHealth as a tutor […]

Interview with Elizabeth Santos

There’s about a two week gap between my interview with Monica Flores Richart and my interview with today’s candidate, Elizabeth Santos. In between, of course, Harvey happened, and among many other vastly more important things it affected how interested anyone was in thinking or talking about the 2017 elections as well as everyone’s time and […]

Some schools will have longer days

Seems like a reasonable approach, all things considered. School days will grow longer for students at 11 Houston Independent School District campuses after the Board of Education voted Thursday night to extend school days to stay in compliance with state law. The next step is for the Texas Education Agency to grant Houston ISD nine […]

Interview with Monica Flores Richart

So it’s been a very strange election season. I’m sure you don’t need me to go over all the reasons for that again. Let me cut to the chase by saying I will be presenting an abbreviated set of candidate interviews, mostly with HISD Trustee candidates. I’m not going to be able to talk to […]

More on recapture and the Rainy Day Fund

There are some conditions that have to be met to get our recapture money back. Houston Independent School District won’t have to hand millions of dollars to the state to spend at other schools if HISD needs that money to recover from Hurricane Harvey, but the district will have to apply for that money, Texas […]

HISD may get a recapture reprieve thanks to Harvey

Talk about a mixed blessing. The Houston Independent School District may be able to avoid paying part – or perhaps all – of its over $100 million state-mandated recapture payment. The potential reprieve comes after a school board lawyer found a state law allows districts that suffer storm damage to use recapture dollars to help […]

Don’t expect any STAAR slack

Sorry, kids. Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath said Wednesday morning that the state was not likely to let students displaced by Hurricane Harvey delay a required state test this school year — or to change the way school districts are graded at the end of the school year. “I would say, given the information I […]

Endorsement watch: HGLBT Political Caucus, CVPE, and GPS

From the inbox: The Houston GLBT Political Caucus PAC met on September 9, 2017. At the meeting the membership voted to endorse the following candidates: Kara DeRocha for HISD School Board Trustee – District V Holly Maria Flynn Vilaseca for HISD School Board Trustee – District VI Anne Sung for HISD School Board Trustee – […]

What will this school year be like?

School has finally started for most of HISD and many surrounding districts, but with the devastation and disruption of Harvey, what can we expect from this academic year? Many students in Houston ISD lost everything – their homes, their school supplies, their clothes, their toys. Some are staying in the mega-shelters at the George R. […]

Harvey and the elections

Labor Day weekend of odd-numbered years is considered to be the opening weekend of Houston election season. The filing deadline has passed, so the fields are set and people (supposedly, at least) begin to pay attention. Candidate forums are held, endorsements are made, Chronicle candidate profiles are written, that sort of thing. Sure, some candidates […]

Most but not all HISD schools will open Monday

Here’s the latest. Nine storm-damaged Houston ISD campuses will remain temporarily closed when many district students return to classes for the fall following a two-week delay caused by Hurricane Harvey, Superintendent Richard Carranza said Thursday. Meanwhile, students at nearly 80 schools won’t return to classes until either Sept. 18 or Sept. 25. District officials released […]

The case for calling a Harvey special session

Rep. Gene Wu disagrees with Greg Abbott’s decision. The historic level of damage and suffering caused by Harvey requires that we tap into our state’s Rainy Day Fund. Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to not call a special session of the Texas Legislature to access emergency funding will worsen the long-term economic effects of one of […]

Many schools were damaged by Harvey

This will add so much more disruption to the Harvey recovery efforts. More than 10,000 Houston Independent School District students are expected to start classes in temporary quarters as officials work to repair hundreds of campuses damaged by Hurricane Harvey, Superintendent Richard Carranza said Saturday. Carranza said the district still plans to start school on […]

HISD will begin classes on September 11

Another week off for students. As Houston ISD continues to sort out which of its schools were damaged in Tropical Storm Harvey, school officials are postponing the start of the school year until Sept. 11, two weeks after school was supposed to start. In an email to campus leaders, Houston ISD said school administrators in […]

A smattering of Harvey news

If you are among the lucky ones whose house or apartment remained dry and you want to help those in need, here’s a handy guide to where and how to volunteer. If you want to go to the George R. Brown to help at that shelter, they have a real need for people to work […]

HISD cancels classes for a week

Another effect of Harvey. Houston Independent School District schools and offices will be closed all week, from Monday, Aug. 28 through Friday, Sept. 1, due to widespread damage from Tropical Storm Harvey. HISD officials have been closely monitoring the forecast and have determined that the storms and heavy rains that affected parts of the city […]

HISD cancels classes on Monday

Hello, Harvey. All HISD campuses and administrative offices will be closed on Monday, Aug. 28 and all campus and district activities canceled due to the threat of inclement weather. Classes are scheduled to resume on Tuesday, Aug. 29. However, the district will continue to monitor developing weather conditions and will determine whether classes can safely […]

No charter amendments on the fall ballot

Just bonds, school board and HCC races, and the mostly boring constitutional amendments. Oh, and Heights Alcohol 2.0, if you live there. Houston voters will face $1.5 billion in city bonds and nine community college or school board races this November, but will not be asked whether to give firefighters a pay raise or change […]

HISD gets some improvements, needs some more

Mostly good news. State school ratings released Tuesday showed academic gains across Houston ISD this year, but enthusiasm over the results was tempered by 10 struggling campuses again falling short of state standards, leaving the district under threat of state intervention and even takeover next year without more progress. District administrators heralded the results, released […]

HISD board fills Manuel Rodriguez’s seat

The HISD Board of Trustees is back to full strength. The Houston ISD Board of Education voted to appoint José Leal to fill the seat left vacant after the death of longtime District III Trustee Manuel Rodríguez Jr last month. Board members chose Leal unanimously during a special meeting Monday afternoon. Leal has more than […]

HISD and the TEA

Still catching up on things. Texas education officials are warning that Houston ISD could be placed under the jurisdiction of state-appointed managers as early as next year if 13 district schools don’t show improvement. The warning was issued during a meeting [last] Monday between Texas Education Agency officials and Houston’s legislative delegation. TEA officials told […]

July 2017 campaign finance reports – HISD

We still don’t know what’s happening with city of Houston elections this fall, but there’s plenty of action with HISD Trustee races. You can see all of the candidates who have filed so far and their July finance reports here. I’ve got links to individual reports and summaries of them, so join me below for […]

RIP, Manuel Rodriguez

Sad news. Every Tuesday at 8 a.m., Houston ISD Trustee Manuel “Manny” Rodriguez, Jr., would roll his maroon mobility scooter up to his favorite table at the Tel-Wink Restaurant & Grill in Southeast Houston. Rodriguez always left the seat across from him empty. Constituents and complete strangers knew those were his office hours — the […]

June CEC meeting candidate update report

The June County Executive Committee meeting for the Harris County Democratic Party was a few days ago. There was some official business to take care of, mostly swearing in new precinct chairs, but in addition to the good crowd in attendance there were numerous judicial candidates, there to collect petition signatures to get on the […]

Mike Lunceford announces he is not running for re-election

Two-term HISD Trustee in District V Mike Lunceford posted the following on Facebook yesterday: Sometimes when you are passionate about something it is very hard to walk away from it. After 8 years on the Houston ISD School Board and over 25 years as an active participant in education in Houston I have decided not […]

No changes to HISD magnet programs

Not this year, anyway. Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza this week withdrew a plan to deeply cut funding for the district’s magnet programs over the next three years, shelving a proposal that had angered parents and some school board members who consider the specialized academic programs to be jewels in an oft-troubled school system. The […]

School finance bill is dead

It started with this. State Rep. Dan Huberty said Wednesday that he would not accept the Senate’s changes to his school finance bill, launching a last-ditch effort to hammer out a compromise with less than a week left in the session. After a passionate speech railing on the Senate for gutting his bill, Huberty, a […]

MALDEF gets injunction in recapture lawsuit

From their website: Please attribute the following statement on a Texas court ruling ordering state education officials to cease bypassing existing school funding rules to Marisa Bono, Southwest regional counsel of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund): “MALDEF is pleased that the District Court saw through efforts by the Texas Education Agency to […]

Interview with Anna Eastman

Anna Eastman has served two terms as HISD Trustee in District I, which is where I live. She has been a leading advocate for having strong accountability measures in place for schools, she was a frequent critic of former Superintendent Terry Grier, and she was the most outspoken Trustee for passing the recapture referendum, both […]

More on the HISD recapture re-referendum

Here’s the full Chron story about Saturday’s re-vote on recapture. About 84 percent of constituents voted “for” HISD’s Proposition 1, giving the school district the green light to send $77.5 million to the Texas Education Agency rather than let the state forcibly remove some of most valuable commercial properties from the district’s tax rolls. The […]