Public Hearing Tomorrow On HISD’s Proposed $1.6 Billion Budget

June 25, 2008

The Houston Independent School District board will vote tomorrow on a $1.6 billion proposed budget, which calls for a pay raise of at least 3 percent for 12,500 teachers, an increase of about 4 percent to the average teacher salary, a $10.2 million increase in per-student funding for schools, $10 million to improve school libraries, $10 million to boost fine arts programs and $20 million for capital needs. About 10,000 of HISD’s lowest paid workers also would get $2.8 million in bonuses to help with high gasoline costs under the plan, in the form of a $250 bonus.

A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held at 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 West 18th Street. The board will vote on the budget at the same meeting, and the budget will take effect July 1.

Under Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra’s proposal, the starting salary for an HISD teacher would increase to $44,027 from $42,745 last year. Saavedra’s proposal is for every teacher to get at least a 3 percent raise, and the average salary of teachers, with a “step” increase also included, would increase by 3.96 percent. The superintendent’s budget proposal also includes pay raises of 7.78 percent for school principals, 6.76 percent for assistant principals, and 3 percent for bus drivers, substitute teachers, food service workers, other hourly workers and all other professional and administrative staff. The total cost of all the salary increases will be about $35.2 million. Health care premium costs for HISD employees will not increase under the new budget.

Other HISD budget proposal highlights include: $8.7 million to improve athletics facilities; $2.17 million for new training institute for principals; $864,000 to improve the curriculum for gifted and talented students and expand testing of four-year-olds for gifted and talented programs and $15.9 million in district-wide spending cuts to help balance the budget

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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