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HISD budget 2022-2023: school board discusses possible layoffs and teacher increases

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – The Houston Independent School District Trustees have just two months to finalize the district’s budget for next year.

As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, students have dropped out of school, teachers have quit in record numbers, and an external audit shows $300 million in federal grants went unspent.

Now, confusingly enough, the superintendent says $60 million needs to be cut from the current budget.

“These cuts require some extremely difficult and challenging decisions as they will of course have a significant impact on the support we are able to provide to our schools and students,” said Superintendent Millard House II.

SEE ALSO: Houston ISD Shows How $1.2 Billion in Federal Funds Are Spending

He said the problem is the way the budget is structured and recommended laying off some curriculum specialists and academic assistants, cutting several professional development programs and reducing government relations spending.

But perhaps most controversial is his plan to increase all teachers’ salaries by 6.75%.

It would be the first significant pay rise HISD teachers have received in years, and according to the district, some could earn up to $20,000 with additional scholarships.

“They’re going to look at us and say, ‘That’s a 7% raise,’ but that’s just not enough. It just doesn’t put us where we need to be compared to other school districts,” said Andrew Dewey with the Houston Federation of Teachers.

As of May 2022, HISD has 111 unfilled apprenticeship positions.

“One of the big tragedies for some, staying here for three, four, maybe five years, they’re hitting a wall where they don’t see much economic benefit in staying long-term, and they’re going to go to the outskirts,” Dewey said . “So HISD trains teachers for other districts.”

The Board of Trustees will vote on a final budget in June.

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https://abc13.com/houston-independent-school-district-hisd-changes-to-year-budget/11821534/ HISD budget 2022-2023: school board discusses possible layoffs and teacher increases

Dais Johnston

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