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HISD Trustees Approve 2018-19 Budget in Record Time

Grenita Lathan finally gets her budget through.
Grenita Lathan finally gets her budget through.
Photo courtesy of HISD
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In the mere blink of an eye — at least when you put it in the context of historically long- winded Houston ISD board meetings — the same trustees who voted 5-4 against the administration's proposed 2018-19 budget, endorsed it wholeheartedly in an hour-long meeting Monday morning.

In a 9-0 game, set and match approach, trustees set aside their doubts about digging deeper into the district's rainy day fund and approved a budget that doesn't differ that markedly from the first one Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan's administration presented last week.  By doing so they came in under the wire of the June 30 deadline they had to establish a budget for the next school year.

The biggest difference between last week's and this week's plans is that trustees lowered the amount they are setting aside for a performance review allotment from $2.5 million to $1 million. The $1.5 million difference will go toward operations and be administered out of the general fund reserve. The remaining funds will go toward a Legislative Budget Board review of HISD's operations.

The $2 billion budget does include some increases, most notably $17 million worth for special education, dyslexia programs and the Achieve 180 program started under previous Superintendent Richard Carranza for underperforming and underserved schools.

Most importantly, to many people, the preliminary rate remains the same as last year at $1.2067. 

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