Texas Schools Still Struggling Without State Funds - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Texas Schools Still Struggling Without State Funds

Brian Wise
NewsWest 9

Texas has given a nod to those who provide teachers, paychecks and schedules to our schools. Governor Rick Perry acknowledged Human Resources staff around the state, saying words of encouragement to schools for the future. 

"We have no higher priority, no greater responsibility, than to provide young Texans with the knowledge and skills to have a successful lives and to lead Texas into the future," Gov. Perry said.

Those words meant for Texas schools today don't make sense when you consider the action the state took two years ago. Texas became 49th among states in spending per student. The Texas State Teachers Association represents all employees in Texas schools. They told NewsWest 9 on Wednesday that funding hasn't been smooth.

"It's been rocky. In 2011, the (Texas) legislature cut $5.4 billion from public school budgets. That led to about 11,000 teachers losing their jobs, about another 14,000 school employees losing their jobs. This year, the legislature restored about 80 percent of that. But schools on average are still funded on average lower than they were for the 2010-2011 school year," representative, Clay Robison, said on Wednesday.

Two years later, Texas has now been promoted to 43rd in spending among students. Here at a local level, the Ector County Board of Trustees says it's still hard without the old funds but lower tier schools are back to normal. Interim Superintendent Tom Crowe said it's still not easy.

"So it's still a struggle. Some districts have gotten it all back. Some of the lower tier districts that had lower per-pupil of money available. But the others are at 80, 85 percent, somewhere in there," Crowe said.

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