Every Number Needed to Explain HISD's Cost of Recapture on a Single Page

Houston ISD's information on recapture is confusing—if not down right biased. First and foremost, HISD communicates that recapture cost $162 million this year and drove a budget deficit which required cuts to classroom spending. Then, the material forecasts recapture payments to total more than $1 billion dollars over four years.

All of this is true. But by stopping with those figures, they lead the public to believe that future increases to recapture payments will drive hundreds of millions of dollars in additional budget cuts. This is simply not true. 

Secondly, no where does HISD provide a cost comparison between voting FOR or voting AGAINST Proposition 1 which also allows the public to assume voting yes means approving a $162 million expenditure or voting no to deny such an expense. This, too, is not correct. HISD owes recapture either way. Prop 1 is simply an authorization to pay that recapture cost in a particular way.

See this post for additional details on the mechanics of recapture and detachment.

And below, please find a one page chart of numbers consolidated from various internal HISD finance documents to understand the impact of recapture on HISD's operations budget as well as the cost estimates for paying with Attendance Credits (VOTE FOR) or through Detachment (VOTE AGAINST).