HISD Trustees Pass Budget, Magnet Overhaul - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

HISD Trustees Pass Budget, Magnet Overhaul

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Houston ISD Trustees approved a $1.7 billion dollar budget as well as a controversial measure that awards additional funding to some magnet schools in the district at the expense of others.

The spending plan gives a pay hike to all district employees with teachers getting a bump of at least $1,100 a year and non-teachers a flat 3 percent increase.

Dozens of parents attended Thursday's meeting to plead with the board to maintain current levels of funding for their children's magnet programs.

"Kolter Elementary and other magnet programs here in our district do great work and recieve awards from all over the country. Those arn't the programs you cut when you are trying to make the district better. You replicate them. You don't cut them," said parent Mary Lowery.

But trustees Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Wanda Adams, Paula Harris and Manuel Rodriguez argued that funding for magnet programs has been unequal for too long with some programs getting more than their fair share, citing T.H. Rogers School as the prime example.

In a 5 to 4 vote, trustee Greg Meyers joined Harris, Adams, Rodriguez and Skillern-Jones to push through the administration's proposal to alter magnet funding.

Encouraged by additional revenue from rising property values trustees also voted to increase a proposed leap in per pupil funding from $55 to $112.

HISD says magnets losing money in the re-balancing have the option to off-set the loss with the newly awarded funds.

"It's not nearly enough," said a discouraged parent whose children attend T.H. Rogers.

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