Financial problems abound for Houston ISD. The latest issue the district is dealing with: an unexplained surplus of food valued at almost $3 million. This could be HISD’s latest slap in the face to taxpayers if that food goes to waste.
The food surplus at HISD is a strange animal, worth $2.6 million, nobody seems to know much about. District administrators informed the school board of the surplus in a meeting Monday afternoon but did not say whether the food was perishable or what would be done with it.
According to School Board President Mike Lunceford, answers about the extra food are not coming easy. Lunceford said when he inquired about the purchase of the food and how it would be accounted for that his “question wasn’t answered.” Based on Lunceford’s remarks, the extra food awaits an uncertain fate.
The fact that the district would purchase $3 million of excess food is shocking considering HISD is one of many school districts in Texas suing the state over the constitutionality of its school funding system.
Taxpayers should be insulted by the fact that the district is considering a $1.8 billion bond proposal but can’t account for this extra food. The bond would increase taxes 6.25 cents from the current rate. The proposed bond would be used to repair and build new schools, but taxpayers passed a bond in 2007 for school improvements, many of which remain uncompleted.
With a budget larger than four states, HISD needs to get a handle on their spending. Suing the state for more educational money while wasting money highlights the district’s blatant disregard for fiscal responsibility.