Houston ISD Schools Facing Mandatory 12% Budget Cuts Next Year

Superintendent Mike Miles of Houston ISD will mandate approximately 24 schools to reduce 12 percent of their budgets next year, marking the beginning of an anticipated process aimed at aligning campus-level expenditures with declining student enrollments.

The budget cuts will specifically impact schools that will not be part of Miles’ “New Education System” in the upcoming year, as their budgets are overseen by individual campus principals. In contrast, HISD administers the budgets of schools within the NES program at a notably higher level compared to others.

Initial details regarding next year’s campus budgets were shared with half of HISD’s principals on Tuesday, with the remaining half set to receive the information on Wednesday. The majority of the approximately 140 non-NES principals in HISD will be required to implement spending reductions capped at 12 percent due to decreases in student attendance.

An estimated 25 schools will face the maximum 12 percent slash, while around 35 schools are poised for budget increases, as per Miles’ assessment in a recent interview with the Houston Landing. Consequently, a number of schools will need to scale back their spending by anywhere between 1 and 12 percent. HISD has refrained from disclosing which schools will undergo the most stringent reductions.

The financial constraints originate from Miles’ decision to end HISD’s pandemic-era policy safeguarding schools from budget cuts linked to enrollment and attendance declines. With pandemic relief funds anticipated to deplete soon and HISD facing a projected deficit of $250 million to $300 million this year, Miles emphasized the necessity of aligning expenditures with student numbers.

“People have known this is coming,” expressed Miles. “If they’ve lost 100 kids, they are going to have to cut some staff. At some point, we do have to stop paying for kids who actually aren’t there.”

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