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HISD Enrollment Caps and Historic Preservation: Monday’s Show (August 17, 2015)

The first day of school for Houston Independent School District students is just a week away. Yet, some parents with elementary-age children in the district are confronting some uncertainty as to where their child will be going for the rest of the school year. That’s because HISD is cracking down on class sizes in K-4 […]

The first day of school for Houston Independent School District students is just a week away. Yet, some parents with elementary-age children in the district are confronting some uncertainty as to where their child will be going for the rest of the school year. That’s because HISD is cracking down on class sizes in K-4 classrooms. These enrollment caps translate into more students potentially being “capped” out of their neighborhood campuses.

HISD’s policy allowing schools to cap out zoned students isn’t new, but the district’s stricter stance on class size is causing some confusion and concern among parents unsure whether their child will be able to attend the school in their neighborhood.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we discuss HISD’s new stance on enrollment caps and how it could affect some of the district’s incoming elementary school students. Ericka Mellon, education reporter for the Houston Chronicle, joins us.

Also this hour: City officials are in the process of reviewing Houston’s Historic Preservation Ordinance. A public hearing was held last month, and officials are reviewing the comments received and will consider action at a meeting on Aug. 27. We discuss what’s under consideration, and what it means for historic sites in Houston, with Margaret Wallace Brown, Deputy Director of the city’s Planning and Development Department.

Then: Last session, state lawmakers cut millions in Medicaid funding to home health agencies and outpatient clinics providing what are known as acute care therapy programs, like physical and speech therapy. The reason? To match payments in other states and through private insurers. Therapy providers, however, believe the cuts (reports estimate anywhere from $200-350 million, perhaps more) may force some outpatient rehabilitation clinics and home health care agencies to withdraw some of their services to Medicaid patients. We learn more from Ken Janda, President and CEO of Community Health Choice.

Plus: The Houston Astros took two of three from the Tigers this weekend, while the Angels lost three in a row. As a result, the Astros have extended their lead in the American League West to 3.5 games. With 44 games remaining, Houston appears poised to make its first American League postseason appearance. We talk with Evan Drellich, who covers the Astros for the Houston Chronicle, about what the Astros need to do in the homestretch to maintain a hold on the division and position themselves for the playoffs.

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