Tag Archives: deficit

First look at the HISD budget

We’re up to $500 million in cuts. But we still don’t have any details. The multibillion-dollar question of how Houston ISD intends to balance its budget went largely unanswered Thursday night, with district administrators revealing few specifics about job or … Continue reading

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More on the improper use of funds allegations against Mike Miles

Other outlets are on this now. A state lawmaker and Houston teachers are calling for Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles to be investigated after a Spectrum News report revealed that millions in Texas public school tax dollars may … Continue reading

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A “WTF, HISD?” roundup

Expect more protests later this week. Houston ISD families plan to protest Saturday morning near City Hall as word of forced principal and teacher departures rip through campuses as the end of the first year since state takeover approaches. Community … Continue reading

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Mayor Whitmire unveils his first budget

Here ya go. Amid Houston’s strained financial outlook, Mayor John Whitmire unveiled a $6.7 billion budget proposal on Tuesday, announcing he does not intend to raise taxes or significantly cut city services during the fiscal year starting in July. The … Continue reading

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Multiple schools protest Mike Miles

The people are angry. Roughly 200 parents and students started their day protesting in front of Meyerland Performing and Visual Arts Middle School, one of many Houston ISD campuses sent into turmoil last week with news that their principal was … Continue reading

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More on the coming HISD cuts

I repeat, this is going to suck. An undisclosed number of Houston ISD teachers and principals received notices this week that they will be out of a job, state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles said Thursday. Miles said principals have begun making … Continue reading

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HISD budget cuts coming

This is going to get ugly. Houston ISD’s state-appointed Superintendent Mike Miles said Friday afternoon that the school district is facing an estimated $450 million gap in funding that will largely be made up by staff reductions as federal pandemic … Continue reading

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Parking meter extended hours proposal withdrawn

Probably dead, though I suppose it could come back. Proposals to make it easier to extend parking meter enforcement hours and install speed cushions did not advance at Houston’s inaugural Proposition A committee meeting Tuesday, after both failed to meet … Continue reading

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Parking meter extension proposal sent to Prop A committee

We sure do live in a different world now. City Council voted on Wednesday to send a proposal extending parking meter enforcement times to committee following a clash between council members who introduced the agenda item and those who expressed … Continue reading

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Extending parking meter hours downtown

I’m okay with this. Houston City Council will vote to extend the time residents will have to pay city parking meters on Wednesday. The current ordinance requires drivers who park in metered spots to pay between 7 a.m. and 6 … Continue reading

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It’s budget cut proposal time

A familiar ritual. Facing a projected budget shortfall and costly settlement with the firefighters union, Mayor John Whitmire has directed most city departments to identify potential 5% budget cuts for the coming fiscal year. Finance Director Melissa Dubowski said Wednesday … Continue reading

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On HISD’s budget issues

They’re Mike Miles’ problem now. It would be nice if he shared with us how he intends to deal with them. Last fall, when Houston ISD’s new superintendent, Mike Miles, first laid out his expensive plans for Texas’ largest district, … Continue reading

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HISD presents its longer-year calendar options

See if you have a preference. After months of speculation over potential changes to Houston ISD’s academic calendar, district officials are considering four options for 2024-25 that would each move up the first day of classes and increase the number … Continue reading

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HISD facing budget cuts

Gonna be a rough couple of years. Amid declining enrollment and a looming $215 million deficit, the Houston ISD is eyeing budget cuts that would slash funding to the central administration and cut campus budgets, especially at high schools. The … Continue reading

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City’s budget passes

There was a little bit of drama, but nothing too big. Houston’s City Council voted Wednesday to approve a $5.1 billion budget for the next fiscal year that relies heavily on a massive infusion of federal aid to close a … Continue reading

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Here comes our boring budget

Save the drama for the budget amendments. A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Sylvester Turner painted a dire picture of the city’s finances as he laid out his plan to balance last year’s $5 billion city budget. Like … Continue reading

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Houston gets to have a boring budget

Thanks, President Biden and all you voters in Georgia! Mayor Sylvester Turner plans to use an influx of federal cash to give firefighters a “raise the city can afford,” expand the Houston Police Department and replace lost revenue from the … Continue reading

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What the American Rescue Plan means to Houston

First and foremost, no layoffs. Houston and Harris County are expected to receive more than $1.5 billion through the stimulus bill approved by Congress Wednesday, providing a massive cash injection that city officials say will help close a budget shortfall … Continue reading

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Here comes the casino push

Expect this to get louder and louder, though whether it’s successful or not remains to be seen. When a big political player comes waltzing into Texas spending big money from out of state, it’s usually a good sign that he … Continue reading

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Here’s the official budget forecast

“Could be worse” remains the watchword. Texas lawmakers will enter the legislative session this week with an estimated $112.5 billion available to allocate for general purpose spending in the next two-year state budget, a number that’s down slightly from the … Continue reading

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Can we please not screw the schools right now?

Really, we don’t have to do this. Across the Houston region and Texas, school districts that lost enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic are facing a drop in state funds starting in January if the Texas Education Agency or state lawmakers … Continue reading

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State budget situation not quite as awful as feared

Still bad, but could be worse. Despite “historic declines,” state lawmakers will have more money to work with in the upcoming legislative session than Comptroller Glenn Hegar expected over the summer, he said Monday. But Hegar did not outline specifics … Continue reading

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The cities still need COVID relief

Just a reminder, in case you’d forgotten. As Congress resumes work on a new coronavirus financial relief package, nearly 100 Texas mayors are pressing the state’s congressional delegation for more funding to address revenue losses incurred due to the economic … Continue reading

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The state deficit is quantified

Honestly, it’s not as bad as it could be. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar delivered bleak but unsurprising news Monday: Because of the economic fallout triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the amount of general revenue available for the state’s current two-year … Continue reading

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There won’t be furloughs after all

A slightly confusing bit of good news. Houston will not need to furlough roughly 3,000 city employees nor cancel its police cadet classes in the upcoming budget year, Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin announced during a city council budget committee … Continue reading

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What the next CARES act could mean for Texas cities and counties

Short answer, a lot. Cities and counties across Texas would get more than $29 billion from the $3 trillion coronavirus relief package House Democrats want to pass as soon as Friday. That includes more than $1.7 billion to Houston and … Continue reading

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Here come the furloughs

We said this was gonna be bad, right? Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, facing an economy hammered by the coronavirus pandemic and collapsing oil prices, on Tuesday proposed to close an upcoming budget gap by furloughing about 3,000 municipal workers, deferring … Continue reading

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Still trying to avoid total budget disaster

That federal money sure would help. As the prospect of mass furloughs and severe spending cuts looms over the city’s next budget, Houston officials are sitting on a pile of coronavirus stimulus money that amounts to more than double the … Continue reading

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The rough fiscal road for school districts

It’s gonna be bad. How bad remains the question. Coronavirus already has wreaked havoc on school districts — closing campuses for the remainder of the school year, shifting learning online, and exposing a wide digital divide between students who have … Continue reading

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Turner to ask feds for some relief

Can’t hurt to ask. Mayor Sylvester Turner is asking the federal government to let Houston use an estimated $400 million in aid to help close its ballooning budget gap and reduce the number of expected furloughs in the fiscal year … Continue reading

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Did we mention that the next city budget is gonna suck?

Because it is, in case we hadn’t mentioned it before. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday that the coronavirus crisis will impact “every facet of city governance” and require furloughs of city workers, though he declined to say how many … Continue reading

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Cities and counties are going to need their own bailout

This story is about the rough financial future that the city of Houston faces as we go through the coronavirus shutdown, but it’s not just Houston that is in this position. As Mayor Sylvester Turner’s administration continues efforts to slow … Continue reading

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Coronavirus and the state budget

Ain’t gonna be great. How bad, we don’t yet know. Comptroller Glenn Hegar briefed Texas House members on the state’s economy and budget Sunday night, saying that while it was too soon for specific forecasts, both are expected to take … Continue reading

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Do you believe in magical thinking?

I did not read this long profile of Tony Buzbee, because life is short and we all have better things to do. I did briefly scan the print version a bit, and in doing so I noticed the following paragraph, … Continue reading

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