HISD Struggles to Overcome Budget Shortfall

The Houston school district faces a $72 million dollar shortfall for next school year. District administrators say the deficit is leftover from previous cuts to education from the state. Sharon Eaves with HISD says the board has three main options to fix the budget.

"If we did not increase taxes, we would have to cut funding to our schools."

The second option is to raise property taxes. Then there's the third. 

"A combination of the two, reduction to funding and increasing funding through taxes."

Eaves says if the HISD decides to just cut spending, it would cost $328 dollars per student.

"But if we do a tax increase and a funding reduction, it would be $53 dollars for a five-cent increase. And if we did a six-cent increase in taxes then we wouldn't have to impact school funding at all."

That six-cent tax increase would cost the average homeowner an extra $89 dollars a year. The HISD board of trustees has to finalize the budget in June. But they have to give financial guidelines to schools earlier in March.

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