Houston ISD school board approves $2 billion proposed budget

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Independent School District passed a $2 billion budget Thursday night for the 2020-2021.

The budget, which passed by a vote of 7-2, includes a $34.4 million salary and benefits package as well as an increase in employer contribution to employee insurance premiums.

The salary and benefits program is broken down as follows:

  • For employees whose salaries are based on the teacher salary placement table, a step movement plus a 1.5 percent one-time retention stipend based on the employees' new 2020-2021 annual salary
  • For employees on the master scale, a one-time $500 retention stipend adjusted for their work-time percentage
  • For bus drivers, crossing guards and Nutrition Services food service attendants, a one-time $500 retention stipend adjusted for their work-time percentage

The tax rate is a maximum of $1.1331 for every $100 of property valuation, which is down a fraction from last year's budget.

HISD is still exploring options for the 2020-2021 school year when it comes to COVID-19 protection.

The district is looking into options such as classes resuming in-person, taking place on staggered attendance days to facilitate social distancing, the continuation of virtual learning or a combination of staggered days and virtual instruction.

Each option includes additional coronavirus-related costs such as extra sanitation practices, bus routes, personal protective equipment (PPE) for students and staff and more.

The district's savings account would have to be used to pay for COVID-related expenses since there is no other funding available at this time.

The district's revenues are expected to exceed its entitlement under the new school finance system, so it will be required to send the state $12 million in "excess revenue."

The district is also expected to approve a $4.6 million program for at-risk students and a $600,000 grant to help pay for 10 new buses.

The video above is from previous reporting.
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