HISD Superintendent Says He's Ready For Some "Compromise" in His Budget Plan

Adjustments will be made.
Adjustments will be made. Screenshot

Houston ISD Superintendent Millard House II today announced a "compromise," saying that he has asked his administration to revise the budget plan he proposed in early March that would have centralized nearly all budget operations in the district and called for a librarian, nurse and counselor at every school.

His previous budget plan was greeted with significant pushback from members of the public, worried that more ground would be lost than gained by not allowing principals more autonomy about what was best for their own campuses. There were also worries that special populations within the schools would not receive the extra funding they needed. And school board members apparently had some concerns as well.

In his announcement House said that he was still seeking "a more equitable baseline education for all students" but added "AND maintain HISD's commitment to campus-based budgeting that meets the specific needs of each unique student population."

Under House's revised funding model:

Campuses will continue to receive a PUA allotment or "student needs-based" allocation with additional resources dedicated to ensuring all campuses have the ability to provide key opportunities and services, especially in under-served communities;

We will require every campus to staff key positions and provide critical education services that families are clearly demanding for their students; and

We will set clear expectations and hold each campus accountable for improving educational outcomes and eliminating achievement gaps for all students they serve.
What this means, he says:

Principals will continue to make budget decisions based on the needs of their school community.

Those schools that have not had the ability to invest in key staff and services in the past will have additional resources to do so.

All schools will be expected to provide a baseline education experience to all students beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.

Schools and principals will be expected to meet clear standards for student achievement for ALL student populations they serve.
We believe the new model will maintain HISD's commitment to school autonomy and need-based funding, while still allowing us to improve educational outcomes for all students. We hope this compromise proposal is something that we can build consensus around and move forward with so that we can begin to tackle the other critical commitments in the strategic plan and begin the important work ahead of us.

The next budget workshop is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, April 7 at the Hattie Mae White Administration Building. 
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