The Houston Independent School District issued the following statement today in response to the public education funding cuts imposed by the Texas Legislature.
The Houston Independent School District is grateful to those state leaders who fought to properly fund Texas schools during these tough financial times. While the Legislature's $4 billion cut to public education is not as crippling to our children's schools as the $10 billion cut that was initially proposed, schools in Houston and elsewhere will still suffer significantly in the years to come. Texas is already 43rd in the nation in terms of funding per student and this $4 billion cut will likely move Texas further down that list. Given that this cut is happening at a time when the Legislature is simultaneously moving to a more rigorous accountability system, this substantial reduction in state funding will undoubtedly have an impact on our students' education. Houston and other Texas school districts will not have the same level of resources to provide much-needed tutoring, accelerated learning opportunities, and more teacher support.
HISD's leaders, teachers, parents, and students, however, will not let the state's financial crisis become an excuse for failing to prepare all of our children for college and meaningful careers, but we also recognize that if we are not going to have a repeat of this same problem in 2013, much work must be done in the interim. We look forward to working closely with our parents, teachers, taxpayers and legislators to develop a fair, understandable, and stable system to fund our public schools. Our children deserve all of our best efforts.
The Houston Independent School District is the largest school district in Texas and the seventh-largest in the United States with 298 schools and more than 200,000 students. The 301-square-mile district is one of the largest employers in the Houston metropolitan area with nearly 30,000 employees. For more information, visit the HISD Web site at www.houstonisd.org.