HISD Board of Education Restores $18.5 Million to School Budgets
Schools will receive $85 more per student
The HISD Board of Education on Thursday followed through on a promise made in the spring to return any excess money that was lost from campus budgets in anticipation of this year’s deep state budget cuts.
The Board unanimously agreed to restore $18.5 million, or $85 per student, to school budgets for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year and for the years to come. As a result, the $275 per student cut that was approved in March is now reduced to a $190 cut.
The motion passed with a 5-3 vote with trustees Anna Eastman, Juliet Stipeche, Manuel Rodriguez Jr., Carol Mims Galloway, and Larry Marshall voting in favor. Trustees Greg Meyers, Harvin Moore, and President Paula Harris said they favored restoring the funding for the upcoming school year, but voted against committing to restoring the money on a permanent basis because HISD likely faces more budget cuts after this school year.
HISD was forced to make tough budget decisions in the spring, before the Texas Legislature adopted a budget for the next two years. 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 in funding for Houston schools was $77.4 million in 2011-2012 and $122.8 million in 2012-2013.
The budget adopted by the HISD Board of Education for 2011–2012 reduced spending by nearly $100 million. Thursday’s vote to send more money to HISD classrooms brings that budget cut down to about $81 million.
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.