The Houston Independent School District Board of Education has approved a $1.62 billion budget for the 2013-2014 academic year that includes $16 million to provide additional support to students at struggling schools and 2-percent pay raises for all HISD employees.
The budget, which was approved Monday on a 6-3 vote, includes $16 million to provide longer school days and tutoring to students at the original Apollo 20 turnaround schools, plus Furr, Waltrip, Wheatley, and Worthing high schools; and Deady, and Holland middle schools.
Board President Anna Eastman and Trustees Juliet Stipeche and Michael Lunceford voted against it.
The 2013-2014 budget also includes $14 million for campuses to use at their own discretion to help students who did not meet the requirements on the state-mandated STAAR exams, particularly in math and reading.
The board will adopt a property tax rate to fund the budget in October.
Earlier this year, HISD finance officials predicted that the property tax rate might have to increase by as much as 6 cents per $100 assessed value. But because of increasing property values and the Texas Legislature’s decision to restore a portion of the deep cuts that were made to public education in 2011, the HISD administration developed this budget assuming that a lesser 2-cent property tax rate will be necessary.
Raising the HISD property tax rate by two cents would generate about $20 million in local revenue, while also providing the district with an additional $5 million to $7 million per year in state funding. A 2-cent property tax rate increase would cost the owner of the average HISD home with a market value of $209,249 an additional $30.48 per year, or $2.54 per month.
Furthermore, HISD will not be recommending the 1-cent property tax rate increase which was supposed to phase in beginning in 2014 to provide the funding for the 2012 bond program approved by voters in November.