Houston Newsmakers Sept. 10: HISD back to school after Harvey, renter rights experts

HOUSTON – Houston Independent School District Superintendent Richard Carranza said damage left by Hurricane Harvey means all schools won’t be in service when classes start Monday, but that all students will have access to a quality education.

”We are working at break-neck speed to make sure that our buildings are safe, that they’re clean,” he said, ”and that they’re viable facilities for teaching and learning to happen in those buildings.”

Newsmakers Sept. 10: HISD back to school after Harvey

Carranza said counseling will be available for the students and staff to help them deal with the stress of a catastrophe and about the challenge of educating the students, working with the state to alter mandated testing days and much more.

Brian Busby, the district's chief operating officer, said getting back on track after Harvey is not so much a challenge as it is something else.

“I look at it more as an opportunity and how we better ourselves after a traumatic experience for the kids as well as the city of Houston,” he said.

Busby is responsible for district transportation, food service and getting damaged buildings back into service.

To verify what school and which teachers your child will have, go to www.houstonisd.org or call 713-556-6000.


Who do you turn to if your apartment or home rental was damaged by Harvey?

Howard Bookstaff, general counsel for the Houston Apartment Association, said landlords "should want to exercise their rights but at the same time should do so with compassion for those being displaced.”

He says to call 713-595-0300 to find out what the law says about landlord rights.

Richard McElvaney, a clinical associate professor and program director for the Center for Consumer Law at the University of Houston Law Center, said the most frequent questions he gets are about rent.

When it’s due? If it has to be paid? And if so, how much?

His best advice is for both sides to talk to each other about their concerns and then call his office at 713-743-2168, if it can’t be worked out.

He says it’s important to remember “Everyone’s injured in this. It’s not just the landlord or the tenant. Everyone’s been damaged.”

For additional information about landlord/tenant rights, click here.

WATCH: Newsmakers Extra: Consumers

Richard Carranza, superintendent, Houston ISD, 713-556-6000, www.houstonisd.org Twitter: @HISD_Supe

Brian Busby, chief operating officer, Houston ISD, 713-556-6000, www.Houstonisd.org

Howard Bookstaff, Partner, HooverSlovacek Attorneys at Law, general counsel, Houston Housing Association, 713-595-0300, www.haaonline.org

Richard McElvaney, clinical associate professor, director of Center for Consumer Law at UH Law Center, 713-743-2168

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