State Comptroller Susan Combs has accepted the Houston Independent School District’s contention that property assessments in the 301-square-mile district total $97.6 billion rather than the $110.7 billion estimated by the state.
HISD inspector general Bob Moore said the district was prepared to sue the state over what it considered an over-evaluation that would cost the district $3 million a year in state funding. The district said the state was relying on initial assessments rather than a lower, more realistic figure that accounted for property owners’ successful appeals.
Even at the lower figure, the district’s per-student valuation of about $390,000 means it will be considered property wealthy under the state’s school financing system. The per-student valuation continues to increase because of declining enrollment in the district, which is estimated at about 200,000 for the upcoming school year.
State law provides that each district will receive funding equivalent to $5,092 per student, but a district’s property wealth determines whether the money comes from local sources or state funding.