Education News

HISD Board Discusses Proposed Budget Cuts

Trustees expressed concerns about some of the proposals to close a looming budget gap.

The Houston Independent School District is facing a $107 million deficit in the next fiscal year.

That’s why the administration of interim Superintendent Ken Huewitt is proposing several cuts, including to schools’ programs for gifted and talented students. That money would be shifted over to schools with a high number of poor, homeless and refugee students.

Trustee Diana Davila is skeptical of the proposal.

“I understand we need to have the services for the homeless and the refugees,” she said during Thursday’s budget workshop. “But we can’t forget the kids that are on the top.”

Under the proposal, gifted and talented programs would lose half of their funding.

Overall, schools would receive $179 less per student than in the current fiscal year. Also cut would be teacher bonuses and the Apollo 20 tutoring program for low-performing schools.

Huewitt said the new budget will affect each school differently.

“Campuses that look more like the district’s makeup benefit more and those outliers benefit less,” he said. “But it’s all based on the population that we serve.”

Huewitt said he thought the board had a good discussion and that he is prepared to have many more.

The board is set to vote on the new budget on June 16.

See the presentation from the HISD 2016-2017 Budget Workshop below:

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Florian Martin

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Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters, the Houston Press Club, National Association of Real Estate Editors, and Public Radio...

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