Educators and Parents Meet About Budget Cuts

As the 82nd Texas Legislature begins dealing with a huge budget deficit, school districts in the state face record spending cuts. Area school officials and parents met at HISD's headquarters this morning to grasp the scope of the legislative problem as lawmakers begin the budget cutting process. Rod Rice reports.

Attorney David Thompson represents HISD and wanted those in attendence to know the very serious money problems that lie ahead for education in Texas.

"In the modern era, we've never seen proposals that would make the kind of dramatic reductions in funding for public education and other services that have been laid out as the starting pointS by the House and Senate."

It's not only the amount of money at stake but how the cuts are made. In one case HISD could lose $202-million dollars in another $348-million and yet both proposals would cut the same amount of money state wide.

Even so, Thompson says the best approach for school districts is to work together.

"We have a common mission and that is to see that the state lives up to its side of the partnership to fund are public schools."

He said the effort to keep cuts to education from being draconian is to realize the long term consequences to everyone.

"What we do with our kids today fundamentally effects not only their futures personally, it effects the future of our state economically, the future of our state as a health democracy, nothing else is more closely tied to the future of our state as educating the kids we have in our schools today."

One way to ease the burden says Tom Jackson who lives in the Cy-Fair district is to use the state's Rainy Day Fund.

"Some of that money should be used when we have a rainy day and trust me in public education it is raining and the storm clouds are, in fact, gathering."

Bio photo of Rod Rice

Rod Rice

Local Anchor, Morning Edition

Rod Rice became fascinated with radio at an early age, while sitting on his Grandfather’s lap listening to his "programs" on the big Emerson Radio...