The effective property tax rate increases by 8.25% for 2022-2023
The Henderson Independent School District (ISD) Board of Trustees approved the purchase of the “How Leadership Works” teacher training program at a special meeting Tuesday at noon. In other agenda items, the board approved the proposed budget and tax rate for the 2022-23 school year, which includes an effective tax rate increase of 8.25% from compared to last year.
The HISD administration selected the “How Leadership Works” (HLW) program in response to the district’s low score in the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) 2022 Accountability Report. HISD earned a Not Evaluated overall score due to below-typical STAAR scores and a near-fail score for college, career, and military readiness. Now that they are four weeks into the school year, Deputy Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Dea Henry told the board the urgency of addressing declining student performance.
“We had a lot of turnover and a lot of changes. And what happens is the accountability system changes, our needs change, and then we as a leadership team have to have an instructional focus,” Henry explained. “We must have the same vocabulary. We need to be able to assure our teachers that this is the teaching standard… This program will give us a mechanism to work together as a leadership team so that we can support all of our teachers to have the same educational goal. And make sure we know exactly what our students need to do to pass on how they are judged, which is currently, for the most part, the state test.
The HWL program is a personalized workshop that includes group and individual training on campus throughout the school year. “We believe this will help our leaders better improve teaching using highly effective strategies such as those that support teacher clarity and student engagement,” Henry said. Referenced leaders include principals, vice-principals, specialist teachers, and instructional coaches.
Henry highlighted the current lack of a common language and common expectations on every campus and the importance of being on the same page when it comes to teaching. She further posited that because HSID has shifted away in recent years from focusing on STAAR testing, test scores have dropped. “I don’t think we want to go back to an environment where STAAR is 100% of what we focus on,” Henry said, citing general parental opposition to the strategy. “However, our job is to focus on student learning. It happens to be the STAAR test that measures some of that, but there’s more to student learning than that. We need to ensure that our children have the skills they need to pass the STAAR test, but to ensure that we are not just focused on the test scores, but rather on the students learning.
HISD Superintendent Dr. Thurston Lamb says he chose HLW because the program can be tailored to the needs of the district. It was also important to find an existing program that did the research necessary to create “high-yielding instructional strategies that have been proven with students and teachers in classrooms across the country.”
The HLW is different from the current Inspiring Leadership Academy (ILA) in the district, a topic a community member asked for clarification on during the public meeting portion of the meeting. The ILA is a project that Dr. Lamb brought to the district three years ago, aimed at helping teachers and staff develop leadership skills such as effective communication, team building, and performance improvement. emotional intelligence.
District 1 Administrator Jean Williams expressed her support for the adoption of the HLW. “While I believe the general public thinks we’ve done a fantastic job of educating all students, that’s not true,” Williams said. “That being said, I hope this program will enable those who participate in it to help all students achieve their dreams. Because in the past we’ve done a good job of doing that for some students, but we haven’t done it for all students. And it’s sometimes a little uncomfortable for the general public. And I’ll leave it there.
District Three Administrator Adam Duey commended the administration for reaching out to an outside consultant for help. “I appreciate that we’re meeting our needs…and that you step out of your comfort zone by bringing fresh eyes to look at everything we need to fix,” Duey said.
The cost of the program is $39,773.73, which covers materials, group training, individual coaching, and campus visits for one school year.
The board approved the purchase with a vote of five votes and one vote abstaining from District Four Administrator Robert Brown, who expressed support for the program but had requested more data on the success rate of the HLW program in other school districts before choosing to endorse.
In other agenda items, the board unanimously approved a new property tax rate and budget for the 2022-23 school year. The new property tax rate of $1.1299 is nearly 6.5 cents lower than the full tax rate of $1.1934 for 2021. However, due to the increase in property values in the district from $1,573,564,586 in 2021 to $1,734,289,584 in 2022, the new tax rate is effectively 8.25%. increase. The no new revenue rate, which is the tax rate the district would need to use to generate the same amount of revenue as last year, is $1.0438.
HISD will hold its next regular meeting on Tuesday, September 13.