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HISD magnet funding vote delayed till next week

You still have time to talk to your trustee about this.

Terry Grier

Terry Grier

Superintendent Terry Grier’s administration has proposed standardizing how the programs are funded – a plan that would result in some schools losing tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars and others gaining as much.

School board president Juliet Stipeche said Monday that she used her authority to postpone a decision on the proposal, which has received mixed reviews from her fellow trustees and parents.

The board likely will vote on the issue June 19 when it is scheduled to approve the district’s overall operating budget.

“Given we’re in the last throes of the budget, I didn’t feel comfortable going forward with this until we had the clearest understanding of our final figures,” Stipeche said.


Grier’s plan sets specific dollar amounts that all programs with the same theme would receive, on a per-pupil basis. For example, an elementary school with a fine arts magnet would receive $350 per student while one with a science, technology, engineering and math program would get $125 per pupil.

“The proposed funding formula is designed to improve equity across programs and increase transparency in our magnet and speciality school funding process,” Mark Smith, the Houston Independent School District’s chief student support officer, wrote in a letter to parents last week.

The plan affects 126 schools. A little more than a half would gain money.

See here for the background. I’ll say again, while I think I get where Grier is coming from on this, the proposed changes have not been communicated well to the affected schools. I know I still don’t understand the formula that HISD came up with to equalize funding. It also occurred to me in writing this post that we’re still waiting on a final decision from HISD about whether some schools will lose all magnet funding for not meeting certain standards, a decision that was postponed in November. I’m not sure how or if this vote is related to that, and I’m not sure where last year’s actions now stand. It would be nice to get some clarity from HISD on these things. Hair Balls has more.

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