The Texas State Teachers Association today criticized the Texas Education Agency for submitting a “woefully inadequate” appropriations request for the Legislature to consider next year.
“Education Commissioner Michael Williams should be a leader in demanding that Texas school children have the resources they need to succeed,” said TSTA President Noel Candelaria. “This woefully inadequate budget request would not allow schools to fully recover from the $5.4 billion in budget cuts imposed by the legislative majority in 2011, much less meet continued enrollment growth.”
“The Texas economy is strong.  So, the money will be there to correct crippling deficiencies in school funding. Commissioner Williams and the legislative majority need to find the political will to do the right thing,” Candelaria added.
Part of the cut funding was restored in 2013. But with total school enrollment increasing in Texas by about 80,000 students per year, school districts still will have less state aid to spend per student than they did in 2010-11, the last year before the budget cuts. Enrollment growth and inflation alone are expected to cost an additional $3.8 billion over the next biennium. That means the TEA budget, if adopted by the Legislature, would force local property taxpayers to shoulder more education costs, while state tax revenue is increasing by billions of dollars.
Under the TEA budget, several key grant programs cut in 2011, including the Student Success Initiative and full-day, pre-kindergarten, would not be restored.