Public schools just can’t seem to catch a break these days. Friday night, with a 19-12 majority, the Senate decided to cut $4 billion from education funding in Texas, “passing the measure without debate or speeches,” according to this article. The funding cut occurred despite the fact that Texas has “more than $6 billion in a savings account designed to avoid school budget cuts during hard economic times,” which is known as the Rainy Day Fund.
One of the most unsettling aspects of the cut is that funding for public education in Texas no longer accounts for student enrollment growth. Not only will schools be under pressure to perform with less money over the next few years, they will have more students enrolled than are currently in the system. In fact, “the state’s 1,040 school districts are expected to add about 170,000 students over the next two years.”
This action has caused more legislation to be drafted, which would give “flexibility” to the under-funded school system. One proposed bill could introduce unpaid time off for teachers, or even cut their pay. Another bill “makes increasing class sizes easier.”
The money from the budget cuts will go towards general state budget problems. I see cutting education funding as a quick fix for Texas and fail to understand how taking resources away from children will help the state in the long-term.
Setting aside enough resources to fund public education has become a real problem in the United States. It seems to me, however, that if we want to ensure the future of our country, the best way to do that is to educate our children. That is impossible to do without money.
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