HISD Budget Proposal Sets Aside $2.85 Million To Help Lowest Paid Workers

June 20, 2008

Houston Independent School District Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra is proposing to set aside $2.85 million to help most of the 10,000 lower-paid employees afford their daily commutes to work.

The school board will vote on the plan next week when it considers HISD’s proposed nearly $1.6 billion general fund budget for the new fiscal year, which starts July 1.

With gas prices rising past $4 gallon, thousands of cafeteria workers, bus drivers, custodians, clerks and others who make less than $30,000 a year are having trouble affording the commute to their jobs, said district representatives.

“The lowest paid employees are really hurting because of these incredibly high gasoline prices and we need to do something to help them,” Saavedra said. “These men and women are vital to the effort every day to keep children fed, safe and ready for school. They’ve given so much in support of our children, and now we need to give something in support of them in this time of great need.”

Under the proposal, the 10,000 or so employees who make $30,000 a year or less would receive a one-time bonus of $250 in September to help pay fuel costs. Board member Natasha Kamrani, an attorney, said her law firm took similar action and “the good will it generated was awesome.”

The school board will meet Monday at 4 p.m. to review the agenda and will vote on the budget, including the fuel bonus proposal, on Thursday after a public hearing on the budget that begins at 3 p.m.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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