As we know, the HISD Board of Trustees had originally set its budget based on the initial House appropriations, which cut almost $8 billion from public schools. The budget that’s in the works now would “only” cut $4 billion, so HISD has a little more money than it planned for. But don’t expect them to un-lay off anyone.
A better-than-expected budget proposal from the Texas Legislature has left HISD with $22 million more than district officials had projected for the upcoming school year. But that doesn’t mean the 724 teachers, librarians and other school-based educators who got pink slips will be rehired.
[HISD Superintendent Terry] Grier has not recommended what to do with the extra money, but his spokesman, Jason Spencer, said the superintendent would caution against spending on personnel because the funding could dry up the following year. HISD, like other districts across Texas, will face a shortfall in the 2012-13 year based on the Legislature’s proposed two-year budget.
HISD expects to lose $79 million in state funding for the upcoming school year, a 5 percent cut. Next year, the loss of state money would rise to $127 million, or 9 percent, based on the latest state budget plan, which could be finalized this week.
HISD board members Greg Meyers and Harvin Moore suggested Monday that the district save the surplus for 2012-13, when the budget picture is worse. “It’s been a disastrous (legislative) session for us,” Moore said.
I think that’s a reasonable position to take, as things are unlikely to get any better next year unless the Howard Amendment manages to stay in the budget. Even then, I wouldn’t hold my breath. I hope the extra funds can stave off any further staff reductions for 2012. Hair Balls has more.