Four of the ten most heavily indebted school districts in Texas fall within the greater Houston area. Between them, the four districts accounted for 10% of the state’s public school debt as of the end of August last year.
Houston ISD itself took the number two spot just behind Dallas. Cypress-Fairbanks came in third, Katy seventh, and Conroe ninth. Susan Combs is Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
“It’s probably very much related to the number of students. HISD has a lot of kids in school.”
Payroll and construction costs account for the lion’s share of public school spending for the state. But the fastest growing category of spending is debt service, up more than 125% over the past decade.