$18billion deficit for Texas…is Education on the chopping block?
- In the red, lawmakers may get schooled By Enrique Rangel firstname.lastname@example.org
- in next year’s session of the Legislature lawmakers are expected to face what could be the largest budget shortfall in state history, perhaps as much as $18 billion over the next two fiscal years.
- most school districts now find themselves in the same financial hole as before.
- the school districts in Amarillo and Lubbock receive $5,062 and $5,067, respectively, per student a year, according to figures MALDEF has compiled. By contrast, the rural Sundown Independent School District in Hockley County, one of the wealthiest districts in the state, receives $12,538 per student. As a result, it’s estimated that at least 60 percent of school districts will have to use reserve money in the upcoming academic year to meet operating costs.
- groups such as the statewide affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, are calling on Gov. Rick Perry to accept $830 million in federal aid for Texas public schools. But Perry and legislative leaders have refused on grounds that it would only make matters worse.
- in last year’s session the Legislature used $3.3 billion in federal stimulus money to balance the education budget. The money included a state-mandated pay raise for teachers.