HISD School Board Considers Plan for Restoring School Budget Cuts
Proposal would give principals an additional $85 per student
HISD principals would have an additional $18.5 million, or $85 per student, to spend in the upcoming school year under a proposal that will be considered by the Board of Education on Thursday.
Members of the HISD Board of Education will be asked to consider the proposal at their regular monthly meeting, which begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 11, at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th Street). To read the full agenda, click here.
In anticipation of significant cuts in state funding, the HISD Board of Education last March approved a $275 reduction in the amount of money schools receive per student. At the time, the Board and Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier committed to restoring some of that cut to per-student funding if the state budget cuts ended up being less severe than expected.
When the state finally adopted a two-year budget in June, the cut to HISD was $77.4 million for 2011-2012 and $122.8 million for 2012-2013.
The budget adopted by the HISD Board of Education for 2011–2012 reduced spending by nearly $100 million. This cut is roughly $18.5 million more than was necessary to offset the decline in state spending for the upcoming school year. But HISD anticipates that the additional cut in state funding in 2012–2013, coupled with increasing fixed costs such as gasoline, employee healthcare, and utilities, will require an additional $41 million cut in 2012–2013.
On Thursday, the Board will consider a proposal that increases per-student spending by $85 and gives principals broad discretion over how to use the money.
Because schools face additional cuts in 2012-2013, principals will have to consider whether to spend the one-time money hiring additional employees, since it is unlikely they will have as much money to pay them after the upcoming school year. Principals could also spend the money on anything they determine their campus needs, including technology, tutoring, teacher training, or instructional materials.
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.