The July meeting of the Huffman ISD school board was called to order with the discussion of a FEMA offer package to the district.

David Carpenter, technology director, stated, “FEMA has put together an $11 million offer package, which I believe is low since it would include elevating and leveling several campus buildings to address flood plain. However, if we contest the amount proposed, we could be in jeopardy of missing additional revenue and construction deadlines.”

Of the $11 million, $1 million would be the responsibility of the district as part of the dollars matched. Several project details were provided, especially concerning the operations center. This facility and project would include a 2-story office building with adjacent parking, an architecturally unique bus maintenance area for transportation repair and a warehouse. The design of these areas will allow for future growth.

After much discussion regarding the innovation of these projects, Carpenter recommended that the district accept the money as presented by FEMA and continue with plans of creating additional spaces dedicated to learning and entertainment.

As the meeting continued, Michael Darlow, partner at Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins and Mott, presented a tax collection report from the Houston Delinquent Tax Payment Office. “I have been serving and representing the district since 1983 for 31 years of service to the community. Our objective is to get the money owed to the district from the residential community.”

Darlow continued, “Based on our findings, there are a low number of bankruptcies, which is a strong indicator of the health of this area. Although there is $736,000 in remaining tax dollars to collect, this number is in line with past years.”

Superintendent Dr. Benny Soileau thanked Darlow for his report. “Michael and his team do a great job and maintain a great collection rate. They continually show penalties and interests captured as required by Texas Education Association or TEA.”

Dr. Joel Nolte, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, discussed grade reports.

“In this past school year, amid all the challenges and changes, let me shed some light on how our kids scored. In terms of the AP report, the district had fewer students take the test over the past year than in years past. In terms of the STAAR test, next month the state is set to put out new requirements for those that did not meet the standards according to the state mandates. Once those plans have been communicated, the district will then seek to follow up with a resulting plan to address these future requests or requirements.”

Nolte ended the meeting with talk on dual credits. “We did not see a significant drop or decrease year-over-year in the number of dual credits completed. These courses are taught in partnership with Lee College and continue to be administered by amazing and well-qualified teachers.”

The next meeting of the school board will be held Aug. 23 in the district administration building.

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