State Rep: Public education funding in Texas is frustrating - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

State Rep: Public education funding in Texas is 'convoluted, confusing'

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LONGVIEW/GREGG COUNTY (KYTX) - Longview ISD school trustees asked State Rep. David Simpson to speak at Monday's specially called meeting about public education funding in the upcoming legislative session.
"The frustrating thing for me is, there seems to be no one down in Austin, except superficially, talking about public education in schools," trustee Dr. Troy Simmons told Rep. Simpson.
Simmons is not alone. Rep. Simpson said he hears that same frustration time and again as he tours East Texas school districts.
He's frustrated, too.
 "Most of the convoluted, complicated formulas we have in place now occurred over quite some time," he said.
Rep. Simpson said the state does not adequately fund public schools, rewarding districts that spend irresponsibly while punishing schools that educate students the right way.
"We have misplaced priorities in the budget. It's putting corporate welfare ahead of our workforce and educating them," he said.
He also lambasted the 2010 legislative session for cutting funding as much as $400 per student while using a six-year-old funding method that does not pay districts equally to educate kids.
"What I'm concerned with is that we're not going to deal with education and the inequitable funding that presently exists, that we're going to wait for the courts to deal with it," Rep. Simpson said.
Trustee Dr. Chris Mack said his school district is spending four of every $5 on payroll, and the burden has kept the district from raising teacher salaries for three years. Neighboring districts are raising salaries annually.
"I do understand much of their frustration," Rep. Simpson. "We come up with so-called solutions in Austin, and then we oftentimes force them upon the school districts."

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