HISD Board of Education Adopts 2011-2012 Budget
Spending plan is $96 million less than previous school year because of likely state budget cuts
June 23, 2011 – The Houston ISD Board of Education on Thursday unanimously adopted a trimmed-down budget that is expected to be funded without altering the lowest property tax rate of any school district in Harris County.
The budget was adopted on a 7-0 vote with trustees Harvin Moore and Michael Lunsford absent.
The $1.58 billion spending plan represents a $96 million reduction from 2010-2011, caused primarily by an anticipated $79 million cut in state funding. Even with these reductions adopted Thursday, HISD anticipates an additional $40 million funding shortfall in 2012-2013 because of deeper state funding cuts likely coming that year.
HISD property owners enjoy the lowest tax rate of any school district in Harris County. HISD is also among the few school districts in Texas that grant homeowners an optional 20 percent homestead exemption in addition to the standard $15,000 exemption that homeowners across the state receive.
HISD began identifying potential budget cuts 10 months ago in preparation for the reduction in state funding. Major spending reductions for the upcoming school year include:
- $58.4 million less in campus funding for teachers, librarians, supplies, and other campus-based salaries and programs
- $17.9 million less in central administration department funding
- $15 million less in special education maintenance of effort funding
- $7 million less in funding for small and/or unique schools that receive special subsidies
- $4.6 million less for the ASPIRE Award program
The budget also includes some spending increases. They include:
- $7.3 million for employee health insurance
- $3.9 million for unemployment benefits
- $1.8 million for an increased literacy initiative
- $1.4 million for Project GRAD
- $900,000 for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and SAT testing
The property tax rate will not be set until after Harris County’s property tax roll has been certified, most likely in September or October.