The Houston ISD Board of Education approved a budget for the 2019-20 school year on Thursday, beating the deadline set by Texas law by three days.
By a vote of 5-1, and with their own amendments to the plan proposed by the administration of interim superintendent Grenita Lathan, HISD’s trustees passed a budget that will increase the district’s minimum wage from $12 an hour to $14. Teachers, full-time counselors, full-time nurses, full-time librarians and other educational professionals will get raises ranging from 3.5 percent to 8 percent based on years of experience in HISD.
Trustees also approved increasing bus drivers’ minimum wage to $18 per hour.
Trustees proposed and adopted an amendment that included $17 million in department cuts, according to a news release from HISD. However, the district said any staff reductions as a result would be offset by utilizing fund balance.
The board also approved an amendment to provide no raises for staff earning more than $75,000 per year. Instead, those employees will receive a one-time bonus of $1,000 and two extra vacation days.
Trustees rejected the original proposed budget, which did not include state-mandated raises for teachers, on June 19. HISD was required to approve a budget by June 30 to comply with state law.
HISD’s administrators had presented a budget for consideration to the board that included raises for every district employee and no staff reductions.