Bellaire - Meyerland - West University Edition | August 2022


Investing in teachers The scal year 2022-23 budget involves making key investments in teachers and support sta.




sign-on bonus for certain roles $1,000-$3,000

Starting salary to increase from $56,869 to


raise depending on pay grade 6%-16%

raises on average across the board 11%

Houston ISD has until the September 2024 to spend all of its Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief dollars. As of mid- June, HISD allocated about half and spent about one-quarter. SOURCE: HOUSTON ISDCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER Examining ESSER

Total funding: $1.16B


minimum wage for most employees $15 per hour

Funding for all schools to employ a:

Librarian or media specialist

Nurse or nurse assistant


Remaining: $545.43M

February, and future increases are anticipated to keep the dis- trict competitive, which will necessitate a new approach to budgeting, House said. District 5 trustee Sue Deigaard—who represents the Bellaire, Meyerland and West University area—said the budget represented a step in the right direction for the district in terms of being more competitive with pay. However, she said she had concerns about the budget’s sustainability. “My biggest worry about this budget is what happens in two years when the ESSER dollars run out,” she said. Although Deigaard voted to approve the budget in June, she described her vote at the time as a reluctant one. She said the budget did not pro- vide enough specics on how ocials would ensure money was being targeted at the dis- trict’s biggest needs in terms of actually helping students learn, calling that the “north star.” “Just having a balanced budget is not the measure of a successful school district,” she said. “These are all means to an end. The ultimate end is, ‘how are the children?’” Moving forward, HISD will work with the consulting rm Alvarez and Marsal to take a deep dive into nances, which will include identifying ways to improve eciencies

district’s highest-need cam- puses, House said. “This budget makes a com- mitment to putting more funds directly in the hands of our campus leaders, espe- cially as they navigate lead- ing, teaching and learning … in the shadow of a global pan- demic,” House said. In comments to Community Impact Newspaper , Ander- son said teachers not feeling supported is a key factor in a teacher shortage being seen nationwide. Moving forward, teachers will need to continue to be at the table where edu- cational decisions are being made, she said. As of June 16, the most recent data available, HISD had allocated roughly $614.57 million of its $1.16 billion in ESSER funds, which includes two separate packages called ESSER II and ESSER III. About $363 million of the funding has been spent so far. The remaining ESSER II funds must be allocated by Sept. 30, 2023, while the ESSER III funds must be allocated by Sept. 30, 2024, according to ESSER guide- lines. After that point, HISD will be on the hook to fund its compensation plan out of its own budget. The bigger picture The teacher salary increases were part of a ve-year stra- tegic plan House released in

Centrally funded



Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

$36M allocated

$83M allocated

$28.3M spent

$0 spent

Employee and teacher stipends

Wraparound services

$50M allocated

$11.4M allocated

$29.6M spent

$9M spent

Middle school student laptops

COVID-19/safe reopening

$34.3M allocated

$6.2M allocated

$11.6M spent

$2.6M spent

Houston ISD must allocate all ESSER II funds by Sept. 30, 2023, and all ESSER III funds by Sept. 30, 2024.

Learning loss ex spending

Air ltration systems

$4M allocated

$34.1M allocated

$3.3M spent

$27.2M spent

Fine arts and supplies

Postsecondary exam prep

$22.2M allocated

$2.6M allocated

$15.7M spent

$586K spent

HISD chapter of the Federa- tion of Teachers. “If you want students to learn and you want students to feel safe and appreciated, you have to do the same thing for sta.” However, several trustees, along with Superintendent Millard House II, were quick to point out that the raises were made possible in part thanks to one-time federal coronavirus relief dollars through the federal Elemen- tary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program. If signicant changes are not

potentially the consolida- tion of schools. Budget overview The adopted $2.26 billion budget is expected to result in a $31 million decit in FY 2022-23, according to dis- trict information. About $102 million in one-time ESSER funds are being used to plug holes, including $52 million to pay salaries. Another $50 million will be allocated to indirect costs, including as discretionary money at the

made in the near future, the district faces a potential “s- cal cli” in the 2024-25 school year, House said. “These resources have allowed us to make major investments in our students and teachers, but we know that these funds are not perma- nent,” House said at the June 9 meeting. As they work through fed- eral relief dollars, district lead- ers are looking into ways they can save money down the line, a process that will include cuts to central oce funding and



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