Longer bus rides, dirtier schools and fewer on-campus officers.
HISD budget cuts could be deep this year.
“We’re facing a $208 million deficit,” said HISD board president Rhonda Skillern-Jones.
Skillern-Jones spoke with KHOU 11 News steps from where district employees protested possible cuts.
“We got to fix this thing so everybody gets some gravy,” said Wretha Thomas, Houston Education Support Personnel union president. “You might not get a pork chop, but everybody gets some gravy.”
Cafeteria workers and custodians are among those on the chopping block.
But Skillern-Jones told us no area is 100 percent safe.
“Kids may spend a lot more time on buses, because they’re got to double or triple up routes,” Skillern-Jones said. “Classrooms may not be cleaned but once a week.”
At Sinclair Elementary, a magnet school, parents are worried about restructuring.
“The thought of taking away magnets, successful schools, it’s heartbreaking,” said parent Keisha Pierce.
Pierce has three children in three different HISD schools.
“And I just wonder what can the district do differently,” Pierce said. “I feel like they’re not looking at all options.”
They are when it comes to possible cuts. That’s partly because of declining enrollment and the state’s redistribution of money.
Critics contend it benefits districts in other parts of Texas at HISD’s expense.
“What we are going to be able to do it meet the minimum needs and everything above that it not going to be possible,” Skillern-Jones said.
District officials are quick to point out that we’re still early in the process. A final budget won’t be approved until May or June.
For more information on the proposed budget, tap/click here.