HOUSTON - Houston ISD is launching its Five-Year Strategic Plan this week. So what does this mean for students and staff? Well teachers, for instance, the plan calls for raises to make teacher pay in HISD more competitive compared to other nearby districts.
Superintendent Millard House says the entire plan is made up of six specific areas of commitment.
"The first commitment is really ensuring that our community gets the kind of trust back in HISD," House said.
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Trust in the Houston Independent School District could be broken for several reasons, including the recent federal indictment of the former HISD Chief Operating Officer and guilty pleas from a number of others involving an alleged multi-million dollar bribery scheme. There’s also the looming TEA takeover and parents and students who feel they haven’t been heard. But those things, according to the superintendent, are part of HISD’s past.
"We are making child-based decisions, and we are heading in a place that will really explain to this community that it’s a new day," says the superintendent. In fact, House held more than a dozen town-hall-type meetings to get feedback from families before coming up with his five-year strategic plan.
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One high schooler who spoke about being bussed out of her neighborhood to get a quality education really stuck with him.
"Knowing that she got on that bus and traveled an hour plus home on a daily basis because she didn’t feel like she had an adequate choice, that truly touched me."
So the plan also includes, "Ensuring great schools and programs are in every community. We know there are 48 ‘D’ and ‘F’ schools." explains Superintendent House who says where a student lives shouldn’t determine their quality of education.
The superintendent’s updated strategy also calls for improving services and support for exceptional needs students.
"This one is near and dear to me, because as a child growing up with special needs and a speech impediment, dyslexia, I had a pathway in the form of my parents who were both educators," but Superintendent House says special students shouldn’t have to have educators and administrators for parents in order to navigate the system.
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On Friday, HISD will announce its State of the Schools and launch the district's Five-Year Strategic Plan.