Do “drastic measures” include cutting the dining and non-teaching tabs?

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HISD considers drastic measures to deal with cuts – Cynthia Cisneros, KTRK-13 News

In Austin, the Texas Legislature will go into a special session starting Tuesday to vote on a school finance bill, and local school districts will have to wait longer to learn how big their budget gaps will be.

The Houston Independent School District is already considering drastic measures to deal with state cuts.

It would be interesting if, while KTRK is giving HISD a platform to lobby for their tax increase, their reporters also followed Matt Bramanti’s lead and took a closer look at the school district’s check register. Or perhaps the district’s spending on non-teaching personnel/administration. Maybe the district’s reserve funds. Who knows, maybe a good journalist who was trying just a little bit could even come up with a few more!

Oh, and here’s a fact that keeps getting left out of MSM accounts of the legislative session (including this one) for some reason: the proposed 2012-13 public education budget actually increases spending in absolute terms compared to the 2010-2011 budget — by $125 million. We’ve added students, yes, so per-student funding will decline, and some districts may suffer more than others. But if the school finance deal remains the same in the special session, the 2012-13 budget will slightly increase public education spending overall.

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