Is it possible the state tech allotment might find a savior in Senator Shapiro? One can only hope....
- Shapiro: 'Stars out of alignment' for schools 1:12 PM Mon, Jan 31, 2011 | Permalink Robert T. Garrett/Reporter Bio | E-mail | News tips
- Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, says there's no one group to blame, no one document or bill that's caused a fiscal shipwreck for Texas public schools this session.
- The state has no money to replace $3.3 billion of federal stimulus money it gave the schools last session. It has no money for the $2.2 billion schools will need to cover projected growth in student enrollment. Nor does the state have $2 billion to offset school districts' loss of tax revenue from a decline in property values, though under current law it's supposed to do that. And so on.
- She told reporters later that she doesn't like how the budget zeroes out money for remedial help for students; new textbooks and online instructional materials; and schools' "technology allotments," a per-student stipend for computers and such. Shapiro said, though, that she'll push on the Finance Committee for the state to use some rainy-day money and possibly fix the business franchise tax, which hasn't produced as much money as expected since it was broadened to cover more businesses five years ago. And she said her Education Committee will look at relieving school districts of various "mandates," not just a cap on class sizes but laws that prevent them from furloughing teachers, if needed, to balance their budgets. In the end, she predicts a better deal for schools than is now on the table.
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