Decreasing staff and reducing inefficiencies at Houston ISD's central office are among the guiding principles district officials will use to reduce expenditures in the budget for the 2024-25 school year.

The overview

During a March 19 news conference, HISD Superintendent Mike Miles said five core principles will guide the creation of the district’s 2024-25 budget, including:
  • Keeping budget cuts as far away from classrooms as possible
  • Investing in teachers and school leaders
  • Prioritizing actions and initiatives outlined in HISD's District Action Plan
  • Cutting waste and inefficiencies at the central office
  • Tempering cuts to schools that have control over their budget
Miles also said this year’s budget will be the first budget considered that won’t include federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funding disseminated in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March 2020, the district has received more than $1.24 billion in ESSER funds.

“If we’re not getting additional allotment from the state, ... we’re going to have to look at ways to cut expenses, especially if we want to keep growing our programs and strategies to improve instruction and student achievement,” Miles said.

How we got here

In June, HISD board managers approved a $2.2 billion budget for the 2023-24 school year that included just under $2.4 billion in expenditures.

However, Miles noted this year’s budget was largely based on what had been prepared by the previous administration before he was appointed by the Texas Education Agency to take over the district earlier that month.

A closer look

While no hard numbers were shown during the presentation, Miles outlined several parameters officials would use when creating this year’s budget, including:Additionally, Miles said the district would end its hold-harmless policy on enrollment. For the last three years, Miles said individual schools with declining enrollment have still received the same amount of funding per student as if they hadn’t lost any students at all.

While schools will now lose funding per students lost year over year, Miles noted the district would plan a 12% cap on the amount of revenue a school could lose each year. Miles also noted magnet programs will not be affected by the policy change.

The announcement comes after the TEA released data showing HISD had 51,138 net transfers out of the district in the 2022-23 school year.

What’s next

The district’s board of managers will consider approving the budget in June.