News in Brief
Texas Officials Weigh Cost of Budget Cuts
Texas school district superintendents say that state budget cuts are hindering their ability to educate children as a result of teacher layoffs, bigger class sizes and fewer services for students who need academic help, according to a recently released survey by Texas AFT, an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers.
The school chiefs said that the $5.4 billion Texas legislators cut from public education funding in 2011 is having a "significant impact on classroom instruction, teacher morale and help for struggling students," Texas AFT said in the news release. The results are based on responses from 241 school leaders, or 23 percent of Texas school districts.
The superintendents said that 6,480 positions were cut in the 2011-2012 school year, of which more than half, 3,052, were teaching jobs.
Sixty percent of superintendents expect their districts to dip into fund balance reserves to pay for expenses, and 20 percent expect cuts to employee stipends offered for extra duty work, hard-to-staff jobs, bilingual education or additional education.
Vol. 31, Issue 20, Page 4