The board met Thursday to discuss financial issues it will face next year. The district has a $7 million shortfall, down from what was a $30 million shortfall.

“We want our teachers to have the resources they need, the principals to have the resources they need to create the kind of learning environment that will help our children grow academically,” Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier said.The district said causes of the shortfall include flat or declining revenue, paying up to $10 million more for employee health care, operational fixed-cost increases, salary increases and the cost programs to fix failing or unacceptable schools.

The district is saving money by buying buses only every other year and making supply and food costs.Officials said balancing the budget won’t affect students too much.

“It’s not teachers, it’s not secretaries, it’s not anyone that works at schools,” said Melinda Garrett of HISD. “This involves maintenance.”An additional 40 positions could be cut. Seventy positions were dissolved earlier. Affected employees will be notified by the end of next week.

The school board will vote on a final budget proposal in June.If you have a story idea that impacts students or schools, KPRC Local 2 wants to hear from you.

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