Teachers are the most important resource in a school campus, and ensuring students have access to highly qualified teachers is essential. Unfortunately for PK-12 students in Texas, too many teachers have been leaving the profession and too few highly trained and experienced teachers are taking their place. At the same time, some schools have greater access to highly qualified teachers than others, which poses an obstacle to closing achievement gaps.
This year’s State of Housing in Harris County and Houston focuses on renters and renting. A majority of Houston households rent, as does a soon-to-be majority of the county’s households. This means renting and rental policy play an increasingly important role in determining the region’s quality of life.
After Hurricane Ida hit New Orleans in 2021, Kirt Talamo, a fourth-generation Louisianan, decided it was time to go. He sold his flooded home, purchased his grandmother’s former house on New Orleans’ west bank, which hadn’t flooded, and moved in. It felt good to be back within its familiar walls, but his mind was on the future.
As economic aftershocks from the COVID-19 pandemic linger, Houstonians have a dimmer view of their prospects, according to the 42nd annual Kinder Houston Area Survey. With inflation and housing costs reaching record highs—and a potential recession on the horizon—optimism among survey respondents was at one of its lowest levels in nearly three decades. More than ever before, Houston residents are also in alignment that more must be done to close income gaps.
When English language proficiency is delayed among Houston-area students, a stark divide occurs. Today, the majority of English learners in Houston and across the state become “long-term English learners.” We now have an even clearer picture of what’s at stake and the need for early intervention. To borrow from the adage about the best time for planting trees: The best time to address the needs of English learners was years ago. The next best time is now.
The 2022 State of Housing in Harris County and Houston analyzed foreclosures countywide from 2005 to 2020. But what happens to a neighborhood after a foreclosure crisis?
The past two years have been a heady time for real estate, and as we emerge from the pandemic’s fog of uncertainty, the 2022 State of Housing report details an increasingly stressed situation in Harris County and Houston. Median prices now exceed $300,000 and are approaching $350,000, slipping out of reach for residents earning the median household income. Meanwhile, much of the already limited affordable rental housing stock is becoming increasingly vulnerable.
If you built a political platform based on what most Houstonians would agree with, what would it look like? We have one version of a “Houston agenda”, thanks to the 2022 Kinder Houston Area Survey. While divisions persist, big shares of Houstonians across party lines agree on several big issues.
Houstonians are looking slightly less optimistic than they normally do, and the economy is their main concern—more than crime, pandemics, traffic, flooding, and other recent plagues. In fact, optimism is at its lowest level in the history of the Kinder Houston Area Survey, driven largely by the rising cost of living. This cloudy outlook also comes with a dose of clarity about the lingering effects of racism and even stronger agreement on the need to support public education.
Increasingly, Houston-area students learning English in public school are taking longer to become proficient, which is holding them back from mastering other subjects and moving forward in their educational journey. In a new report, we identified a few factors that might be contributing to this trend—as well as factors that could lead to better outcomes.
What do trees, bike lanes, and billions in federal disaster aid have in common? They are some of the building blocks of Houston’s future—one that is safer, more equitable and better positioned to withstand future disasters. They’re also among the inventory of measures included in the Kinder Institute’s new Resilience and Recovery Tracker.
A recent Kinder Institute report discussed strategies for preserving affordable housing, particularly Harris County’s vast supply of so-called “naturally affordable” units. But knowing which properties should be preserved is a challenge, and the resources committed to preservation tend to be very limited.
This week marks the first anniversary of an especially grim event in Texas’ history. Winter Storm Uri touched nearly every corner of the state with power outages that affected millions of people and led to at least 246 lives lost. Unofficial counts put the death toll at three times that number.
Do property taxpayers inside the City of Houston subsidize Harris County services? It’s a question that comes up a lot, given the fact that city residents—like their counterparts in the county—pay separate property taxes to the county, but the county provides many services only to the unincorporated areas.
The shift to 100% online instruction in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020 meant school districts around the country needed to quickly develop plans for how to implement distance learning and serve student needs. The Houston Education Research Consortium analyzed the plans of 45 school districts from 15 states for insights into the collective response to the pandemic.