Community members who wish to serve on the new Houston ISD board of directors have less than a month to submit an application to the Texas Education Agency.
TEA is demolishing the current board of directors as it takes control of HISD after years of battle. Applications for the new board are open until 11.59pm on April 6. Here’s everything you need to know about the new positions.
What is the responsibility of the board of directors?
The Board of Directors will assume all authority of the Board of Trustees. Comprised of nine members, the overall goal is to improve student performance and represent the vision of the HISD community.
The role requires approximately 40 hours per month for the first six months and approximately 15 hours per month thereafter. Up to eight of those hours will go to board meetings, with the remaining hours going to community engagement and planning sessions.
The managers will eventually work with the trustees to put new systems in place when TEA steps down and the trustees can resume their positions with new systems and training.
Board executives are not paid.
Who is qualified to serve on the board of directors?
To be considered for the job, applicants must be an eligible voter living within Houston’s ISD boundaries, not been convicted of a felony or felony involving finances or a child, able to overcome an FBI background check and will have to complete a conflict of interest disclosure twice a year.
However, TEA will also consider factors such as previous experience, skills and personal goals. The board of directors may include members who:
- I am currently parents of HISD students
- Have a verifiable history of success in public education
- Have a background as a parent leader, teacher leader, and/or neighborhood leader
- They have demonstrated success in community leadership
- Have a background in social work, counseling or psychology
- Have some experience in business, finance and/or law
Those who have a conflict of interest with HISD, involvement with a closed charter school, or interests in other elected office may not qualify.
What is the application?
The application takes at least an hour to complete online, but progress can be saved to complete it over multiple sessions.
Community information sessions at various HISD schools will also answer any questions about the process.
What are the next steps after application?
If selected to move forward after the initial question, TEA will contact to set up a fingerprinting appointment. Applicants will then have until 21 April to register and present their fingerprints. The cost of the background check is around $50.
The next phase will be on April 15-16 or April 22-23, where candidates will be required to complete a two-day all-day training on board member responsibilities. The next step is a scheduled virtual interview with agency staff.
The final step in narrowing down the finalists will be an observation interview on April 29-30, where another two-day training will focus on effective district leadership strategies.
The appointment of the new board will take place on June 1st.
How long will the new board of directors stay in office? And the previous administrators?
It could be years before the previous directors return to their posts, leaving the authority with the board of directors.
Before returning to trustee control, Education Commissioner Mike Morath outlined three goals: No campus should have failing grades for multiple years, the special education program should comply with state and federal regulations, and the board should demonstrate procedures and behaviors focused on student achievement .
From there, a transition includes reinstating one-third of the trustees in three intervals before all of the board is replaced by trustees; this process could take two years.