Sunday, March 19, 2017

News from Mrs. Graves

Upcoming This Week

HISD 7th Grade Zone Track Meet, Barnett Stadium, 4:30 p.m.

Cheerleader & Mascot Applications Available
Tennis Practice
HISD 7th Grade Zone Track Meet, Barnett Stadium, 4:30 p.m.
Softball vs. Hamilton @Oaks Dads' Club Fields, 4:30 p.m.
Girls' 7/8th gr Lacrosse @ROBS, 5:30 p.m.
Boys' 6th gr Lacrosse vs. Memorial @Grob Stadium, 6:00 p.m.
Boys' 7th/8th gr Lacrosse vs. Memorial @Grob Stadium, 7:30 p.m.

HISD 8th Grade Zone Track Meet, Barnett Stadium, 4:30 p.m.
Baseball vs. Lanier @ POMS, 4:30 p.m.
Softball vs. Clifton @ POMS, 4:30 p.m.

Tennis Practice
Waltrip Pre-UIL Band Concert and Sight Reading Contest
HISD 8th Grade Zone Track Meet, Barnett Stadium, 4:30 p.m.
SDMC Meeting, 3:45 p.m.
Baseball @ Pershing, 4:30 p.m.
Soccer vs. Pershing @POMS, 4:30 p.m.

Boys' 6th gr Lacrosse vs. Katy, @POMS, 6:30 p.m. 
Boys' 7th/8th gr Lacrosse vs. Katy, @POMS 8:00 p.m.

Girls' 6th gr Lacrosse vs. Woodlands, Alden Bridge Sports Park, 10:00 a.m.
Girls' 7th/8th gr Lacrosse vs. Woodlands, Alden Bridge Sports Park, 12:00 p.m.
Boys' 7th/8th gr Lacrosse vs Kingwood, Episcopal HS, 3:00 p.m.
Boys' 6th gr Lacrosse vs. Kingwood, Episcopal HS, 5:00 p.m.

SUNDAY, 3/26
Cheer Competition, Galveston

Update on School Funding and Recapture
HISD voters will be asked on May 6 how the district should pay its Recapture obligation to the state of Texas: by Purchasing Attendance Credits or through Detachment of Commercial Property.  Her's the language that will appear on the ballot:
Authorizing the board of trustees of Houston Independent School District to purchase attendance credits from the state with local tax revenues.
A vote FOR means Purchasing Attendance Credits by writing a check to the state comprised of local property taxes. It also means:
  • The district will continue to make annual recapture payments as long as property wealth grows.
  • Our total tax collections will continue to grow to offset these payments as property values rise.
  • The district will have more capacity in the future to fund schools.
A vote AGAINST Purchasing Attendance Credits means Detachment of the most valuable non-residential, commercial properties from the district's tax roll. The properties will be reassigned to other school districts for taxing purposes. It also means:
  • Under current law, those commercial properties will be permanently detached, and the district will permanently lose those tax collections for district operations.
  • The district will lose debt service tax collections used to pay back bonds, which is debt used to build schools.
  • The district will face budget cuts and have less capacity to fund schools.

Didn't we already vote on this?
Yes, in November 2016, HISD voters rejected Proposition 1 and purchasing attendance credits, making HISD subject to Detachment to pay its Recapture obligation.  Since then, action by the Texas Education Agency and other factors have reduced HISD's Recapture obligation from about $162 million to about $77 million.  Future payments have been reduced as well.

The vote has also started a conversation among legislators in Austin about changing the state's outdated school finance system. In response, the HISD Board of Education called a new election for May 6, 2017, giving voters another opportunity to decide how HISD will pay its Recapture obligation.

The majority of HISD's students are economically disadvantaged.   Why is the district subject to Recapture?
Due to rising property values, HISD's wealth level per student exceeded the level set by the Legislature in the 1993 "Robin Hood" school finance law.  Under the current law, even a school district like HISD with almost 80% economically disadvantages students and over 30% English language learners is considered wealthy and therefore subject to recapture.  As long as property wealth grows in Houston, and the state's school finance system remains the same, HISD will continue to remain in Recapture.

How will the May 6 vote affect HISD financially in the long term?
A vote FOR purchasing attendance credits will allow HISD to make recapture payments to the State, but the district's local tax collections will continue to grow to offset these payments as property values rise. A vote AGAINST purchasing attendance credits will allow commercial properties to be detached from HISD, and the district will lose those tax collections from district operations. As more and more commercial properties are detached, a larger percentage of the responsibility to fund public education would shift to homeowners and remaining business owners.  In Addition, the district will lose future tax collections on the detached property used to pay back the district's debt for building schools. These tax collections are not lost under the Purchase of Attendance Credits.

recapture chart

STAAR Testing Dates 
Tuesday, March 28 - 7th Grade Writing, 8th Grade Math
Wednesday, March 29 - 8th Grade Reading

On Thursday, March 30th, Pin Oak PTO will be partnering with Pershing MS PTO and Bellaire HS PTO to bring the critical documentary, Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age.  We look forward to opening the dialogue in our community about the increasing impacts of social media and screen time to the lives of adolescents. Students who attend with their parents will receive a free dress pass, and NJHS members will receive service credits for attending with parents. Please consider joining us!

Learn more about Screenagers at

Cheerleader and Mascot Applications Available
Learn more about trying out for the Pin Oak Cheer team!  Application packets available on Tuesday in the Main Office, Rm C107 or outside the girls' locker room. All interested in trying out must have the proper athletic physical and additional paperwork on file.  

Congratulations to Pin Oak Faculty!
Who just got engaged? Join me in congratulating Ms. Riegler from 8B!

And who just got married? Join me in congratulating Ms. Saldivar from 6B, married on Saturday, March 11th, and to Mr. Berry, Magnet Coordinator, married Saturday, March 18th!

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