Abbott Travels Miles to Destroy H.I.S.D

At the directive of Governor Greg Abbott, the state of Texas has been greedily hovering over the Houston Independent School Board since 2018 with the conspicuous presumption of “saving” it. This spring his victory equaled everyone else’s loss. Well before 2019 HISD had identified insufficient campus funding as one of its most formidable challenges, which of course disadvantaged the least advantaged of the then 209,772 enrolled students. That was the year the district was honored in U.S. News & World Report as having four of the top 100 high schools (DeBakey High School for Health Professions, ranked #3 in Texas, #17 in the nation; Carnegie Vanguard High School, ranked #4 in Texas, #24 in the nation; Eastwood Academy High School, ranked #9 in Texas, #97 in the nation, and Challenge Early College High School, ranked #10 in Texas, #102 in the nation) in its Best High Schools rankings.

 

The school system earned 88 out of 100 points from the state which bested many districts in Texas’ big cities. HISD also had pared its number of “failing” schools from 58 in 2015 to 21. Still, less than half of Black, Hispanic and “economically disadvantaged” students overall were performing on grade level in math and reading in 2019, compared to about 7 out of 2 whites from more prosperous households.

 

The proportion of students in need of special education ranked among the least of Texas’ priorities. Poorly supported schools, especially magnet schools, were unequal in quality and unequally located around the city. The following year capital was similarly scarce when online learning was necessitated by COVID. At that time 42% of our students received one or more failing grades during the first six-week interval. Seven other area school districts also described an increased number of students failing at least one class compared to last year. HISD reopened for in person classes that October, but days later 16 campuses were closed again because of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases.

 

Mental health deteriorated as children were separated from their routines and their classmates. Many of their adults lost their jobs and, in some cases, their lives. Students were in desperate need of expensive services. Even as the financially besieged school district was making sweeping improvements at low performing schools, Governor Greg Abbott ordered the Texas Education Agency to summarily exile the district’s superintendent and board trustees selected by Houston voters., They installed strangers, including Mike Miles, the recently disastrous leader of the Dallas Independent School District, to oversee HISD against the public’s vehement protest. Miles left his previous position in Dallas with deteriorating test scores and abundant scandals.

 

Texas finances its schools on the number of students in each district and their daily attendance. HISD receives between $5,000 and $6,000 per student per year. With 189,337 currently enrolled, there are 20,724 fewer than when the pandemic hit during the 2019-20 school year. That means the district is projected to lose $124 million from its already inadequate prepandemic budget. Not only that, but in February Michael Love, the executive officer of HISD’s Innovation and Strategic Initiatives, told (channel) 13 Investigates, “Over the next 20 years we may lose another 20,000, 30,000 students. We may be at 150,000 in 10 years. It’s hard to know, but we are at least predicting a decrease over the foreseeable future.” Meanwhile, the new superintendent none of us voted for has a new contract, which includes some $25,000 to cover his moving expenditures, awards him $1,473 compensation for every day he acts as superintendent. Remember that next time you vote for governor.

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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