HISD grapples with $115 million budget deficit and layoffs

- So how did the Houston Independent School District end up $115 million in the hole?  School board trustees say it's not their fault.

"The deficit we have is a direct result of recapture so it's not like we spent extra money and put us in the hole," said HISD trustee Jolanda Jones.

HISD has become a property rich district.

"And us getting credit for the Galleria and the Medical Center and all those places doing really well financially," Jones said.

"We have a lot of property wealth and a lot of not wealthy students and families," said Zeph Capo, president of the Houston Federation of Teachers.

So what is recapture? State officials set an average number of what they think it costs to educate a child in the Lone Star State.

"If your total property wealth is higher than that average that they think it should cost to educate that kid, then you have to send the balance to Austin so they can basically put less money into the education system," Capo said.

But since Houston is a large city, the cost of doing business is significantly higher than smaller Texas towns.

What's more, Houston has a disproportionately higher number of kids that need more services than students in other Texas cities.

District officials put total blame for their financial mess on recapture.

The teachers union has put the number of employee lay offs at around 250, and many receiving pink slips could be teachers.

Those being laid off are being notified by letters.

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