HISD’s Spending Freeze Due To Budget Deficit


HISD is freezing or cutting out some of campus spending and they are no longer hiring new staff due to budget shortfall.  HISD’s Superintendent House Millard II announced this on Thursday March 3rd and it will last for the rest of the 2021-2022 school year. According to https://communityimpact.com “House said the freezes are necessary as HISD attempts to deal with what he called “a structural budget deficit that will continue to grow if left unchecked.” As of now HISD is in a $70 million deficit. 

This is not the first time this happens. In the 2018 – 2019 school year HISD was in a deficit of more than $200 million. According to https://www.houstonpublicmedia.org an article that was written in 2018, “HISD currently owes the state more than $200 million – and possibly as much as $269 million – in “recapture” payments”. This caused for many reductions and budget cuts to be done in the district and in campuses. 

In the 2016 – 2017 school year HISD faced a $107 million budget shortfall. According to https://blogs.houstonisd.org, “Deputy Superintendent and Chief Financial Officer Ken Huewitt told trustees that the state-mandated “recapture” payment would cause a budget shortfall that could result in significant reductions at both the campus and district level.” 

This can affect many of the campuses in HISD including Westside. How? Well, since the budget is going down, there might be some things Westside will not be able to provide. For example, my English teacher went to work at another district because she decided it would be better with better job opportunities than HISD. Because of the budget cuts and because they are no longer hiring new staff, we most likely will not be able to get a new teacher for the remainder of this school year which can affect how we do things for the rest of the year. 

This change can leave an emptiness in school, as seen with the photo above.

Well, what do students have to say about this? Anaika Mehta (9) says “I think it is a well designed strategy to freeze the budgets or no longer hiring staff members. Some teachers won’t be designed to teach particular subjects or there will be a shortage of teachers which will negatively impact the school society.” Another student, Jeyla Hajiyeva (9), says “I think it is unfair that HISD is freezing school budgets because of mistakes they made. As well as it being $70 million dollars. The schools in HISD district require a lot of maintenance and care. It would affect the schools massively because of how much they need money to maintain stable schools. Without a proper financial balance, schools would not be able to sustain a suitable learning space”. 

All in all, with HISD freezing the budgets of schools, we can experience many changes that can last us for the rest of the school year. This decision can save a lot of money and that can solve the financial problems the district may have, however would majorly affect students’ education ultimately.