AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas' high child poverty rate is beginning to make demands on the state's budget, and experts warn the state needs to spend more on education or the state's economy could slow.
According to the U.S. Census, about 60 percent of Texas children live in poverty. Many of those children are unprepared and need extra attention when they start school. If they do eventually get into college, the state's Higher Education Coordinating Board says they are relying on a shrinking pool of financial aid.
Public schools and state universities are calling for more money. But the state's Republican leadership has pledged to dramatically limit government spending. In 2011, the Legislature reduced funding for public education by $5.4 billion, cut pre-Kindergarten programs and cut funding for college scholarships.
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