As the Houston ISD school board moves forward with its lawsuit against the TEA, it continues to spend money that could be supporting students. From April through August, the district has spent $147,409.12* on attorney fees. This is almost the equivalent of two 20-year teacher salaries in HISD. In August alone, it spent over $80,000.
The private law firm that the HISD board hired to sue the TEA has represented Progreso ISD in a suit against the TEA for four years. Progreso’s claims have been dismissed and the Texas Supreme Court has denied review this month. Progreso ISD still owes attorney’s fees for this four-year ordeal. You can read the opinion of the appellate court dismissing Progreso’s claims here.
If HISD continues down the same path, at the rate it paid its attorneys for the first four months of work, it’s looking at spending upwards of $1,800,000 with a high likelihood of failure. If calculated based on the rate HISD paid in August, the district is looking at over $3,800,000. These calculations do not account for increased attorney’s fees as litigation escalates and demands more work hours.
Houston GPS believes taxpayer dollars should go to providing resources to campuses, paying teachers, and, most importantly, serving the students of HISD. Our money should not be spent defending adults from their own misconduct.
* The August invoice for O’Hanlon, Demerath, & Castillo’s services has been amended and slightly reduced, so numbers have been changed to reflect the newly revised invoice.