July 20, 2022 — The Harris County Department of Education Board of Trustees approved a $172.9 million budget for the 2022-2023 school year during its monthly meeting Wednesday.
The HCDE budget, adopted annually in July, is designed to allow the agency to be responsive to the needs of area school districts and the communities it serves. Additionally, the budget provides ongoing support for Department employees through competitive compensation and benefits.
The budget features recruitment and retention plans and salary increases for eligible employees, which includes raising the starting teacher salary to $63,600—the highest starting teacher salary in Harris County.
The budget allocates funding for 25 new positions. Among the new positions created are teachers, educational aides, licensed counselors, and school-based therapists to support HCDE’s special schools, programs, and services supporting students, educators, and districts in Harris County.
Also included in the budget is phase two of the Department’s capital improvements plan, which accounts for the continuation of major capital projects and the construction of HCDE’s Equine Therapy Center. The facility is planned to be built in Barrett Station and will offer programs serving students in HCDE schools and area districts.
HCDE predicated the budget on a proposed estimated tax rate of .004990 per $100 of taxable property value, the same rate adopted in September 2021.
Property tax revenue, which amounts to less than $9 for the average Harris County homeowner annually, makes up $27.2 million of the overall budget. Grants, fees, and revenues from HCDE’s business endeavors, including its purchasing cooperative, fund the rest of the budget.
Harris County Department of Education is a unique, educational entity that serves school districts, government agencies, nonprofits, and the public in the third-largest county in the U.S. Annually, HCDE serves a quarter-million students and educators through schools for students with profound special needs; the oldest adult education program in Texas; Head Start early childhood education; school-based therapy services; and afterschool programs. HCDE also offers educators professional development and certification, school safety training, records management, and a purchasing cooperative. #SeeTheImpact at www.hcde-texas.org.