Local superintendents speak out on Texas budget cuts

By: Dia Wall Email
By: Dia Wall Email

GRAYSON COUNTY, TX-Four billion dollars in cuts are coming to Texas public schools. Now, state legislators in Austin are battling on how those cuts will be distributed statewide.
"Districts across Texas didn't out themselves in this position. We were put in this position and we're dealing with it the best we know how," said Sherman Superintendent Al Hambrick. He said he and his staff are hard at work on next year's budget.

"Right now we're in the dark, and we're trying to plan a budget. So, we have three weeks to have our budget approved," he said.

"On top of that, when the legislators are down there and can't make their minds up as to what they're going to do to us, then it's even more of a guess and a frustration," said Bells Superintendent Joe Moore.

"We were very close to having it done and one of the senators decided to filibuster and I think that's why it's taking so long," said State Representative Larry Phillips, who also wanted residents to know that four billion dollars will be cut from public schools in Texas.
"This legislation doesn't change the budget amounts that are going to public education or in any other state spending. What this is going to be is how that's going to be appropriated," he said.

Bells Superintendent Moore said his school district was slated to lose $350 thousand in the first year and $450 thousand in the second.

"You can't cut that amount of money out of a seven million dollar budget without affecting the quality of education that's offered to our kids," he said.

"In our area we are through the target revenue system are receiving a little less than five thousand dollars per student. There are districts that receive close to eight thousand per student, a large disparity," said Dr. Hambrick.

A disparity Moore does not agree with.

"There's nothing equitable about that. The poorer school districts are the ones that are being punished the most in the system that they're looking at," he said.

"Our goal is to try to make sure we put the statute that we get rid of reliance on the target revenue system that's what important I think to the school districts in Grayson and Fannin county that I represent," said Rep. Phillips.

The legislators have 30 days in the special session to get a budget passed, and Moore has a plea for lawmakers in Austin.

"My plea would be to use some of that rainy day fund. It's raining right now in education. It's becoming a flood."


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