The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday voted unanimously to maintain a tax rate of $1.1567 per $100 valuation.
According to a press release from the district, the rate is one of the lowest among the school districts in Harris County. News Release
The rate consists of $1.0067 per $100 valuation designated for maintenance and operation of the district, with the remaining $0.15 designated for debt service payments.
The school board voted 6-2, with Juliet Stipeche and Anna Eastman abstaining and Carol Mims Galloway away during the vote, to approve an amendment to the FY2012 Budget.
The amendment provided funding for various recommended initiatives, including $850,000 for literacy training for fourth-through-eighth grade core content teachers, $40,000 to Lead4ward, LLC for training and consultation for the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness test, and $1,213,034 toward the Esperanza program.
The school board voted 8-1, with Harvin Moore opposed, to adopt a resolution to convey the former Rufus Cage School Site to the City of Houston.
The property was declared as surplus and approved for sale in August. The former elementary school was constructed in 1910.
“The City of Houston has agreed to use the former Cage Elementary School site and building for public purposes, and has agreed to give Houston Independent School District a credit of $100,000 to an account that has been previously established through an interlocal agreement with the city,” Chief Operating Officer Leo Bobadilla said. “Houston ISD may use funds from this credit account to obtain city rights-of-way or other property that Houston ISD may need from time to time for educational purposes.”
The school board voted 8-1, with Paula Harris abstaining, to approve consultant and professional service contracts and ratification of bid waiver projects.
The school board voted 8-1, with Harris abstaining, to approve vendor awards for purchase in amounts more than $100,000, as well as purchases of less than $100,000.
The school board voted 7-1, with Stipeche abstaining, to approve the Aspire Award Model for teachers and campus-based staff members for the 2011-2012 school year. Michael Lunceford was away from the table at the time of the vote.
The program was implemented in 2007 as a teacher performance-pay model.
“In an effort to deal with the reduction in funding from the Texas Education Agency's District Award for Teacher Excellence Program, and to reduce district spending in a tight budgetary environment, the 2011-2012 ASPIRE Award model substantially revises many features of the 2010-2011 ASPIRE Award Model,” Chief Human Resources Officer Ann Best said.
The total cost projection for the 2011-2012 program will not exceed $26.9 million, compared to $42.8 million for the 2009-2010 program year.
The school board voted 6-0-3, with Stipeche, Eastman and Manuel Rodriguez abstaining, to approve recommendations made on personnel matters in executive session.
All other items were approved by unanimous vote of the members present at the time of the vote. All members were present at the meeting. Agenda