Education News

What The Houston School District Is Considering To Cover A $52 Million Budget Deficit

In the worst case scenario, the Houston Independent School District is facing a deficit of about $73 million dollars for next school year. But the budget gap might be smaller than expected.

The good news is that the Texas House wants to give school districts like Houston more money.

“HISD would stand to gain about $20 million in additional funding. Of course, that doesn’t cover everything that we lost but it definitely will help cover some of the gap.”

That’s Sharon Eaves the general manager for budget and financial planning at HISD.

“It works out to about $111 dollars per student.”

Then there’s the bad news. Houston will receive less money from the federal government because of across the board budget cuts.

“Title One of course being our largest federal entitlement grants is probably going to lose about six and half million.”

That math works out to be a $52 million dollar deficit for next school year.

Board members are considering different scenarios to cover that. One option is not doing anything. The other options involve increasing the tax rate, starting at a three cent hike and going up as much as six cents.

Anna Eastman is the president of the board of trustees.

“I think we still have a hole to fill. We have cost increases that we’ve added in that we’d like to fund for next year, that the superintendent would like to fund for next year.”

One of those is the Apollo 20 program that tutors students in struggling schools.

It’s one of Superintendent Terry Grier’s top priorities. But it’s also an extra expense.

It has cost more than $40 million dollars over the last three years in private, federal and district funds.

hisd current budget


Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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