- Educators take concerns to AustinPosted: February 1, 2011 – 12:00am
- By ENRIQUE RANGEL
- “Schools are looking at massive layoffs and other heartbreaking decisions,” said Fuller who is also the superintendent of the Wylie Independent School District in the Dallas area.
- educators said it is imperative the lawmakers tap into the Rainy Day Fund and seek other sources of revenue to offset a projected shortfall of $15 billion to $27 billion for the next two fiscal years. “The Rainy Day Fund today is healthy and with oil selling at $100 a barrel, the fund will replenish itself in the next biennium,” Fuller stressed. “We must do our duty for the school children of Texas. As educators we put education as our top priority and what we are asking the Legislature is that they make children our top priority.”
- Gov. Rick Perry and legislative leaders have vowed not to tap into the fund which is currently $8.2 billion and, if untapped, it is projected to grow to $9.4 billion by Aug. 31, 2013, when the next fiscal biennium ends.
- ohn Folks, past president of the Association and superintendent of the Northside ISD in San Antonio, said the Legislature, not the schools, created the fiscal mess the state is in but it is the school children who’ll be most negatively impacted if the education budget is cut as much as the preliminary drafts of the House and Senate bills propose. “It started in 2006 when the Legislature created an inequitable tax system,” Folks said in reference to the special session of that year when the Legislature, under a Texas Supreme Court deadline to pass a school finance bill, approved a bill that reduced property taxes, the main source of school funding, by one third. “Bottom line, it is totally irresponsible to ask the schools to make these cuts when they created the problem,” Folks said.
- Rep. Warren Chisum, R-Pampa, author of the 2006 school finance bill, said he and his colleagues are used to such criticism
- ir purpose is to get more money but they are not going to get more money. Ever since I’ve been here (in 1989) we have doubled or tripled the amount we give them per student.” However, in the 2006 special session “we passed a bill to reduce the burden on the taxpayers,” Chisum explained. “Taxpayers have told us they’ve had enough taxes. We have an obligation to the taxpayers.”
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