HISD Administration Unveils Visionary Proposed 2024-2025 Budget

Investing in Educational Excellence While Navigating Financial Challenges

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 5/17/2024, 12:46 p.m.
In a bold move to secure the future of education in Houston, Superintendent Mike Miles and Chief Finance and Operations …
HISD Superintendent Mike Miles

 In a bold move to secure the future of education in Houston, Superintendent Mike Miles and Chief Finance and Operations Officer Jim Terry presented the proposed 2024-2025 budget for the Houston Independent School District (HISD) during a workshop today. Despite formidable financial hurdles, including the cessation of federal Covid relief aid, stagnant state funding, and declining student enrollment, the administration has crafted a $2.1 billion budget that prioritizes the district's most critical needs and ensures long-term fiscal stability.

"When I took on this role in June, I pledged to the Board and our community that HISD would adopt a strategic and transparent approach to budgeting," stated Superintendent Miles. "Our proposed budget is a testament to this commitment. We've navigated significant challenges to deliver a plan that puts our students and teachers first, aligns with the Board’s goals, and safeguards our schools' future."

The 2024-2025 budget is underpinned by five guiding principles:

1. Minimize Classroom Impact: Cuts are kept as far from the classroom as possible to maintain the quality of education.

2. Invest in Educators: Prioritizing funding for teachers and school leaders to foster a supportive learning environment.

3. Action Plan Alignment: Initiatives are directly tied to the District Action Plan and School Board goals.

4. Efficiency Improvements: Reducing inefficiencies and optimizing the central office to better serve schools.

5. Protect School Budgets: Where possible, tempering cuts to schools that manage their budgets independently.

Departments were tasked with creating budgets that reflect these priorities, ensuring that every dollar spent drives forward the district's educational mission. This process was particularly challenging due to the lack of increased state funding and the expiration of one-time federal pandemic relief funds, which necessitated the elimination of certain programs and positions previously supported by this temporary aid.

Key Figures from the 2024-2025 HISD Budget:

Total Budget: $2,116,696,193 (a $110 million decrease from 2023-2024)

Total Allocation to Schools: $1,366,323,219 (a $62 million increase from 2023-2024)

Beginning Fund Balance (July 2024): $932,687,809

Projected End of Year Fund Balance (June 2025): $801,569,428

Federal Pandemic Relief Funds No Longer Available: $386,273,553

Total Budget Gap Addressed: $528,000,000

"We have fundamentally transformed HISD's budgeting process," explained Dr. Terry. "Although this required difficult decisions, it was necessary to prevent the fiscal cliff forecasted by previous administrations. We are eager to collaborate with the Board to finalize and adopt this budget in June."

Additionally, the budget presentation covered HISD’s Interest and Sinking and Nutrition Services funds, both requiring separate Board approval. The School Board is set to consider the entire 2024-2025 budget at their meeting on June 13.

For a detailed look at the budget presentation, visit the HISD website, HoustonISD.org