What is Harris County Department of Education?
Harris County Department of Education (HCDE) is a public entity dedicated to helping meet the needs of uniquely challenged learners and school staff in the state’s largest county through innovative programming and support services. HCDE directly serves approximately 30,000 students with four alternative campuses, therapy services provided in local schools, 17 Head Start centers for early childhood education, after-school programming in dozens of community and school settings and the largest adult education program in Texas.
HCDE also supports educators and school staff with professional development opportunities in diverse instructional areas ranging from core content to special populations and educational technology, as well as offers programs supporting school safety and alternative certification. The department provides valuable operational support to districts and public agencies in Harris County in the form of an advanced records management system, facilities planning and purchasing power through the Choice Partners program.
These services are supported through a property tax of approximately ½ cent (about $9 annually for the average Harris County homeowner) as well as a revenue-generating model for some divisions. With this funding, HCDE provides savings to Harris County’s 25 school districts, allowing districts to keep money in the classroom and preserve their own tax rates. HCDE has lowered its tax rate for the last five years, consistently staying below the effective tax rate, providing an exceptional value to Harris County taxpayers.