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First look at how HISD will balance its budget

Seems to be fairly well-received.

Ken Huewitt

The Houston school district’s interim superintendent on Thursday rescinded his proposal to reduce funding for gifted students amid concerns from parents and board members.

At the same time, Ken Huewitt proposed bolstering the budgets of schools with significant concentrations of low-income students, using $21 million from federal funds. Schools with the highest percentage of poor children would get the most extra money – an attempt to address the academic challenges at what Huewitt called “hyper-poverty” campuses.

Huewitt’s plan calls for revamping how campuses are funded at the same time as the Houston Independent School District faces an estimated $107 million budget shortfall in the coming year. The financial woes stem from the district expecting, for the first time, to have to send tens of millions of dollars back to the state because it is considered too property wealthy.

“This is about funding the needs of our kids,” Glenn Reed, general manager of budgeting for the school district, said after the board’s budget workshop Thursday.

To balance the budget, Huewitt has proposed several cuts, including ending the $10 million bonus program for teachers and other school staff, and cutting $11 million in contracts with outside vendors.

He also would eliminate the $19 million that went to help a few dozen low-performing schools, as part of former Superintendent Terry Grier’s “Apollo” reform program.

See here and here for some background, and remember again that this is not HISD’s fault, it’s the Legislature’s fault. I don’t know how the search for the next Super is going, but if the search firm/screening committee isn’t asking every candidate detailed questions about how they would have handled this situation, they are not doing an adequate job. I hate that HISD is having to go through this, but from what we have seen so far, Interim Superintendent Huewitt seems to have done a pretty good job of it. We’ll see what comes out when the Board votes on the budget.

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5 Comments

  1. HISD Board, City Council and County Commissioners can’t google public banking?

    Other cities have published feasibility studies on public banking and it’s use for education, public safety and infrastructure.

    1 in 3 banks world wide are publicly owned.

    But these wankers can’t google these ideas.

    Worrisome.

  2. Ross says:

    Joe, just give it up. Public banking is not the panacea you claim, it’s another potential tool with its own set of issues. I very seriously doubt that Texas cities, counties, or school districts have the statutory authority to start or operate banks, so any review of the concept is a waste of time and resources.

  3. Texas cities and counties have the legal means to do so.

    it’s one of many solutions.

    Public banking could replace TIRZ and rebuild.

    I’ve spelledit out on my website.

    Whether idiots on city council and county court understand it is another issue.

    This isn’t rocket science

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    One way HISD and other districts with lots of illegal alien students could help balance the budget is for the legal residents of the district to vote Trump. It’s a lot cheaper to educate illegal kids in the countries where they actually belong than it is to educate them here, and getting them back where they belong is something only the federal government can do.

  5. Ross says:

    Joe, there is nothing in any of the codes you reference that allow a city or county in Texas to set up and operate a public bank.