Lawmakers discuss funding for public schools in Texas

Chapel Hill, TX (KYTX) -- The legislative session just started, and with 12.5% more money to work with than last time, many hope to see some funding restored to public schools.

"We're hoping for more funds to come back, because we did have to cut a number of positions," Dr. Donni Cook, Superintendent at Chapel Hill ISD, said.

Two years ago districts felt it when lawmakers slashed funding to schools by $5.4 billion. It directly impacted Chapel Hill ISD by more than a million dollars, resulting in fewer jobs and larger class sizes.

"Because of those cuts, class sizes are higher in many areas than what we would like. We would start there," Cook said.

Lawmakers are offering words of encouragement.

"This session we are in much better shape. We will not be able to restore all those cuts, but I am optimistic we will be able to provide additional funding to public education," Sen. Kevin Eltife said.

But it remains to be seen, as today Governor Rick Perry made no promises to roll back spending cuts.

"I don't imagine we'll ever quit having arguments about if we are spending enough money, and if we are spending it in the right places," Perry said.

House speaker Joe Straus has made his own vow to up funding for schools, at least enough to cover enrollment growth.

About 5.6 million kids currently are enrolled in public schools in Texas.


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