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Posts Tagged ‘Paula Harris’

HISD proposes closing five schools

Not sure about this. Houston ISD officials are proposing to close five small schools at the end of this academic year, a move likely to set off protests from parents and alumni. Some on the school board – which ultimately must approve the plan – already are expressing concerns about the closures, which would affect […]

HISD board approves 3-cent tax increase

It was a close vote. Property owners in the Houston Independent School District will see their tax bills rise after trustees Thursday narrowly approved the first tax rate increase for operations in a dozen years. The board voted 4-3 to raise the tax rate by 3 cents to fund a budget that includes raises for […]

CompSci in the curriculum

HISD Trustee Paula Harris coauthors an op-ed in the Chron advocating computer science to be part of the standard school curriculum. While STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education is a hot topic in education circles these days, only math and science courses are required for graduation from high school. The few computer science courses […]

More on uniform start times and other options HISD is considering

As we know, HISD is contemplating uniform start times as a way to save a few bucks for the next fiscal year. They do have some other ideas going, as well as a possible property tax rate hike, and they would like some input from you. From the inbox, from HISD Trustee Paula Harris: Implementing […]

HISD to take over North Forest ISD

This is going to be a challenge, assuming it does go forward. The North Forest Independent School District is nearing the end of its appeals to stay open, paving the way for Houston ISD to take over. State education commissioner Robert Scott notified the North Forest administration in a letter released Friday that he was […]

Back to magnet schools

It’s Magent Awareness Week in HISD, and the Board of Trustees will be reviewing a new magnet school policy along the way. A proposed new policy, released by HISD last week, calls for the creation of a new funding model for magnet schools and an accountability system that would give under-performing programs three years to […]

2011 Houston results

Let’s go through the races… – Mayor Parker won with a shade under 51%, with none of her opponents cracking 15% on their own. Obviously, this is not a position a Mayor with no serious opposition wants to be in, and it won’t surprise anyone if one or more potential opponents for 2013 are on […]

Endorsement watch: HISD incumbents

The Chron sticks with the incumbents in the three contested HISD Trustee races. For HISD Trustee in District III: Manuel Rodriguez Elected to the board in 2003, he was its president in 2007, when the district successfully passed an important bond to build 21 new schools and repair and remodel more than 100 others. He […]

HISD tightens ethics rules

Good. The Houston school board agreed Thursday to tighten its ethics rules to prevent trustees from meeting with vendors and from accepting certain campaign donations during open bids. [...] Board members would not be able to attend meetings with vendors and the district’s administration under the policy change. HISD board president Paula Harris, who has […]

Interview with Paula Harris

We close the week with HISD Board President and District IV Trustee Paula Harris, who is service her first term on the Board. Harris has a degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M and has worked as an engineer and project manager for over 20 year. She is on the Board of Directors for Space […]

Your 2011 electoral lineup

There are many candidates running for office this year. Some of them have a better rationale for running than others, but thankfully for them that’s not a requirement. A flurry of late filings to run for city office Wednesday filled out an election ballot that left only two Houston officials unopposed for re-election in November. […]

We have a contested HISD election

School Zone: Houston ISD school board president Paula Harris is the first incumbent to draw an opponent in the November elections. Arturo “Art” Huerta — who, according to the board office, is a parent of a child at Lanier Middle School — has filed to run to represent District IV, which includes parts of central […]

HISD to hire back some teachers

More good news. More than 300 teachers and other educators in the Houston Independent School District have been rehired since the massive round of layoffs in the spring, according to newly released data. Additional HISD teachers could get their jobs back in coming weeks thanks to a better-than-expected budget outlook — though Superintendent Terry Grier […]

The other races

In addition to the city of Houston races, I am trying to follow the HISD and HCC Trustee elections as well. I say “trying” because there’s just no information out there that I can find. For one thing, though there are seven such races this year – four in HISD, three in HCC, including one […]

HISD adopts its budget

No tax increase, at least not at this time. Students in the Houston Independent School District can expect to see larger class sizes and fewer teachers, librarians and elective courses next year under the spending plan that trustees approved Thursday. The $1.6 billion budget reflects a state funding shortfall affecting districts across Texas, although for […]

HISD contemplates a tax increase

They’re not saying it explicitly yet, but the inference is clear. Houston ISD board president Paula Harris said today that raising property taxes, dipping into the district’s savings account and suing the state over school finance inequities are all possibilities. Harris noted twice that HISD has the lowest tax rate of all school districts in […]

HISD does its redistricting

Doesn’t get much easier than this. Houston ISD trustees today approved a preliminary plan to redistrict their positions in response to changing demographics. The plan, now available for public comment, generated no controversy among the Houston Independent School District board members, unlike the redistricting proposals for City Council and the state Legislature. “There’s no radical […]

HISD’s budget and magnet meeting

A whole lot happened on Thursday evening with HISD. Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier proposed a major shake-up Thursday night to the district’s popular magnet program, calling for 25 schools to lose the special status and for funding increases or reductions in others. “This stands to change the landscape of the entire Houston Independent School […]

The state of HISD

HISD SUperintendent Terry Grier gave his state of the school district speech this week. Houston ISD Superintendent Terry Grier announced plans Thursday to toughen the district’s curriculum and to expand access to college-caliber courses despite tight financial times. Grier, in his second-annual State of the Schools speech, said slowing down academic reforms — when less […]

Still more on magnet schools

So what do we know about HISD’s magnet schools and that consultant’s report that recommended some hefty changes to them? Well, other than the consultants themselves, no one likes the report very much. The message was clear at Lamar High School [Tuesday] night: remove the magnet designation from high performing schools in the district and […]

More on the magnet schools report

I guess it’s just as well that I never made it all the way through that audit on HISD’s magnet schools, because it seems that neither Superintendent Terry Grier nor the Board of Trustees are all that wedded to it. Grier and the trustees have yet to release a counterproposal, saying they first want to […]

Will HISD close low-enrollment schools?

As if there weren’t enough politically charged agenda items out there for next year. Like dozens of campuses in the Houston Independent School District, Jones is losing students and brimming with empty seats. HISD trustees must make politically tough choices about such campuses: Should they be closed, merged, left alone or overhauled with more popular […]

Who’s using electronic textbooks?

According to this DMN story, the electronic textbook revolution hasn’t exactly taken hold just yet, at least not in the Metroplex. The [Texas Education Agency] has budgeted more than $800 million for textbooks in 2010-11, but it’s not clear how much of the money districts will use on digital materials. Many schools simply don’t know […]

HISD set to hire Grier

But not without some drama first. The Houston school board is expected to officially hire Terry Grier as superintendent Thursday and offer him a multiyear contract that is likely to top $400,000 a year in salary and perks over time. Three weeks of intense negotiations on the deal dragged into Wednesday evening, with trustees trying […]

Terry and Abe

Here’s another get-to-know-Terry Grier story, focusing on his time in San Diego. The most interesting bit to me is right here: Abelardo Saavedra, the man Grier is in line to replace in Houston, endured more than his share of criticism for making big decisions without public input during nearly five years on the job. And […]

Jones gets another opponent

In the wake of her comments about Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association President Jeff Caynon, Council Member Jolanda Jones has drawn a new challenger for her seat. On Friday, retired HISD administrator Davetta Daniels filed to challenge Jones in November. Daniels says Jones has been an embarrassment. Bellaire native Carlos Obando also announced for the […]