HISD interim superintendent calls for school finance reform

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- HISD Interim Superintendent Ken Huewitt started today's State of the Schools speech with a joke: "I've got no money and all these kids," he laughed. But, like most jokes, this one is based in reality.

"That leaves us with a 107 million dollar shortfall as we go into the 2016-2017 school year," said Huewitt.

It's because of something called Robin Hood financing. Basically, school districts get state funding based on local property taxes. Houston is a relatively wealthy city, so HISD doesn't get state funding.

In fact, this year, the district has to give millions of dollars to other cities in the state. That's even though 80% of HISD students come from low income families.

"We're going to cut other places, outside of the classes," Huewitt said. "So, it might be in the finance office, it might be in curriculum, it might be in maintenance and transportation."

58 HISD schools are already not meeting state educational standards, and with these cuts, the district could lose $179 per student.

So, what about cutting teachers?

"That is the last place we will go as far as having to make cuts," Huewitt said. "We're in the business of teaching and learning and you don't cut your product."

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