If you had any doubts that Texas education may be facing troubles, be sure to read the complete news article from Abilene Reporter-News, salient points excerpted below.
- Implement GoogleApps for Education and dump all the programs you’re buying now to get that job done. Give out free copies of OpenOffice/LibreOffice suite to everyone if they feel they need to have something loaded on their computer.
- Eliminate expensive software few use to its full extent, such as Microsoft Windows OS and Office, Inspiration/Kidspiration, Adobe Photoshop, expensive drill-n-kill tutorial software
- Substitute interactive digital projectors and/or IWB alternatives instead of expensive fixed interactive whiteboardsFollow State of Indiana’s lead in using Free, Open Source software on the desktop. Like them, Texans won’t notice much change. Put UbuntuLinux on all computers.
- Stop buying print textbooks, put it all into eReaders at $149 or less per device. That’s cheaper than 1-2 textbooks! And, you can put hundreds of other free ebooks on the devices, too! Give them a copy of the Bible, the Koran, and other literature if you feel so inclined. I’ll take Baen Sci-Fi books
What other suggestions do you have?
About 20 superintendents and school officials learned more about the state’s looming $18 billion budget shortfall, redistricting and other challenges ahead for legislators…
Every department in the state was asked to a make 5 percent cut in expenses.
Education and health and human services receive the most state funding — about 40 percent to 45 percent each, she said.
“The funding formulas for the school districts could be looking at a 10 percent cut,” said King, who is on the House Appropriations Committee….
Hochberg said the $18 billion deficit equates to a shortfall statewide of 20 percent from the $92 billion projected annual budget.
“You can’t get 20 percent back without affecting schools,” Hochberg said.
Hochberg had several suggestions on where the state could save money, including having a library of digital content that would be free of charge to every district and student. Also, he suggested cutting back on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills testing for students who pass year to year….
Anson Superintendent Jay Baccus, who is worried about current finance, said he hopes the district can make it through the year. He said that if the funding is not there, jobs may have to be cut. “I would hate to have to tell a teacher at midyear they had lost their job,” Baccus said.