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.
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