On Tuesday, community members gathered at Madison High School for the first of nine community meetings to learn more about Houston ISD’s budgeting process.
Implementing uniform schedules across the Houston Independent School District’s 279 campuses would free up $1.2 million while giving the average student an extra 19 minutes in the classroom, according to a budget-cutting option presented to the HISD Board of Education today.
HISD is looking for more ways to reduce spending as the district seeks to address a projected $34 million deficit for the 2012-2013 school year. The loss in revenue is a result of last year’s decision by the Texas Legislature to reduce public education funding by $5.3 billion.
Streamlining HISD’s bell schedule was among many potential spending reduction options discussed during Thursday’s Board of Education meeting. Under this plan, every HISD school would have an instructional day that is 7 ½ hours long. This represents a 19-minute increase for the average HISD school, or a total of seven full days of extra instruction time over the course of the year.
Currently, HISD schools have about 20 different start and end times. Under the option presented today, schools would operate on the following bell schedule:
- Approximately half of all elementary schools would operate from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Approximately half of all elementary schools would operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- All middle schools would operate from 7:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
- All high schools would operate from 8:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Continue reading