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Posts published in “Day: November 26, 2019

County Judge Hidalgo outlines key accomplishments at first State of the County

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

Announces New Focus on Early Childhood Development

Harris County, Texas – November 15, 2019 – Today, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo joined business leaders, residents, and community leaders from across the region to deliver the first State of the County address of her term. During her remarks to about 900 attendees, Judge Hidalgo outlined key areas of progress in fostering a safer, healthier, and more equitable Harris County and announced a new initiative that will focus on improving early childhood development.

“The state of our county is strong,” said Judge Hidalgo. “But being strong is about much more than having a low unemployment rate or a strong bond rating. It’s about making sure that all of our residents enjoy equal access to the great opportunities available to them in Harris County. Over the past year we’ve made county government more transparent, made strides to reform our criminal justice system, and have begun to make up for lost time when it comes to investing in our flood control infrastructure. But there is much more to do, and we look forward to another year of ambitious, meaningful initiatives, including a focus on what we can do to improve early childhood development and education.”

Drawing from the “Talking Transition” initiative, Judge Hidalgo will kick off a community engagement series next year as the first step towards a larger goal of a meaningful early childhood development initiative in Harris County. Programs that focus on early childhood development have one of the strongest returns on investment for any type of public program. Children who benefit from initiatives like subsidized childcare and early education tend to have higher high school graduation rates, fewer arrests, lower rates of substance use, and higher rates of employment as adults.

During her remarks, Judge Hidalgo also provided updates on key priorities since her swearing in. Some key areas of progress include:

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Aldine ISD earns state’s highest fiscal accountability rating for 16th straight year

For the 16th consecutive year, Aldine ISD received a rating of “Superior” under Texas’ School FIRST (Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas) accountability rating system. The “Superior” rating is the state’s highest, demonstrating the quality of Aldine ISD’s financial management and reporting system.

The primary goal of the School FIRST system is to ensure that Texas public schools are held accountable for the quality of their financial management practices. The School FIRST system is designed to encourage Texas public schools to better manage their financial resources to provide the maximum allocation possible for direct instructional purposes.

The School FIRST system has 15 indicators that are evaluated. The first five indicators are critical indicators and must be met to avoid failure. The other 10 indicators evaluate financial solvency and financial competency.

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Local Legislator receives Hunger Leadership Award

Rep. Armando Walle, middle, receiving Hunger Leadership award.

Texas State Representative Armando Walle of Houston is one of four state lawmakers who are being honored by Feeding Texas, the state association of food banks, with a 2019 Hunger Leadership Award for their work to end hunger in the 86th Texas Legislative Session.

A ceremony for Rep. Walle was held last Friday, November 15 at the Houston Food Bank.

The four lawmakers honored at the ceremonies were:

– Representative Armando Walle – Houston Food Bank (Houston)

– Senator Brandon Creighton – Montgomery County Food Bank (Conroe)

– Representative Terry Meza – North Texas Food Bank (Plano)

– Senator Charles Perry – South Plains Food Bank (Lubbock)

Each honoree championed critical legislation to support food banks in their effort to end hunger.

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