HISD tries again to set the stage for future tax increases

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Houston ISD faces $44M deficit as budget planning begins for next fiscal year – Mike Cronin, Texas Watchdog

“There’s not a lot of fat left on the bone around here,” observed Superintendent Terry Grier near the meeting’s conclusion.

What a disappointing piece from the usually excellent Texas Watchdog crew.

We’re accustomed to establishment-oriented journalism in Texas, which usually reflects the reliable complaint from the reporter’s institutional sources (read: mostly well-compensated bureaucrats) that voters and/or pols aren’t giving them enough money. Rarely if ever is the taxpayer/voter perspective represented fairly in this sort of journalism.

Texas Watchdog has been refreshing because their focus on fraud, waste, and accountability frequently is of interest to the folks footing the bills of “public” services (read: taxpayers). Yet there’s no such taxpayer voice in this story challenging Terry Grier’s assertion that there’s no fat left on the HISD bone. There’s no reference to previous stories Texas Watchdog has done that suggest taxpayers may not be getting full value from, say, HISD’s buddy-buddy bidding procedures. There’s no followup on Matt Bramanti’s occasional looks at the HISD check register (which shows large outlays for catering with regularity, apparently an ESSENTIAL function of educating the children in a cut-to-the-bone school district).

Let’s hope this piece was just an anomaly. There’s enough bad reporting reflecting the views of Texas education bureaucrats out there already.

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Kevin Whited is co-founder and publisher of blogHOUSTON. Follow him on twitter: @PubliusTX