HISD Board To Vote On Significant Budget Cuts

The Houston Independent School District Board will meet at 5pm today to review, and likely take a vote on, some steep budget cuts. As David Pitman reports, the cuts up for consideration today would erase only about a third of the projected shortfall for next year’s budget.

As things stand right now, HISD is facing a $171 million dollar budget gap.  District Spokesperson Jason Spencer says that’s mostly because of the fiscal trouble in Austin.

“One of the proposals on the table is to reduce the amount of money that schools receive, per student, by $275.”

With all the cuts that will likely result in fewer teachers and larger classes, HISD saves a bit more than $58 million dollars.  Spencer says a separate package of reductions to non-classroom programs and personnel could free up another $45 million.

“When you combine this with the classroom cuts that we’ve identified, that still leaves us about $60 million short of fully addressing the $171 million shortfall.”

Still, Spencer says the current budget picture isn’t a worst-case scenario.

“When we analyze the House budget bill that’s on the table right now, we would be losing between $202 and $348 million per year.  So we’re being optimistic that the state’s going to find a little more money than that, and that we’re only going to be dealing with $171 million gap.”

The HISD board must act quickly to let principals know how much money they’ll have to budget next year, so they can decide how many teachers to let go.  Teachers whose positions are being eliminated must be notified by April 18th.

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HISD Board Meeting

When: Thu, March 10, 5pm – 7pm
Where: Houston ISD, Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 West 18th St., Houston, TX 77092


David Pitman

David Pitman

Host, Morning Edition

Hi there. I’m glad you found me. Let me take a moment to answer some of the questions you might have about me and my job. I have worked as Morning Edition Host and reporter at News 88.7 since August of 2009. Previously, I hosted Morning Edition at WMFE in...

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