Texas PTA to Governor Perry: "Fund our Future!" - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Texas PTA to Governor Perry: "Fund our Future!"


The legislative session ends in nearly two weeks, and education funding is still on the table. That's why the Texas Parent Teacher Association is traveling across the state to stand up for schools with the message "fund our future".

As we all know, school districts across the state are preparing for what they think the state budget will look like. The Lubbock ISD has already made more than 80 cuts in their central office. The concern is there could be more to come.

"We are down to the wire for this session and there are rumblings about a special session," said Leslie Boggs, Texas PTA Vice President.

The concern is differing agendas in the House and Senate could mean deeper cuts for schools.

"It appears the governor doesn't think it's raining unless he says it's raining. Well, he is the governor, and we elected him; he is not our meteorologist," said Boggs.

The Texas PTA says the forecast for public education is gloomy. They say at this point any additional revenue for education is a must. 

"New sources of revenue must be on the table for discussion and this includes the rainy day fund and increasing taxes on alcohol and cigarettes as well as increasing fees," said Boggs.

Right now, they say another bill, SB 1811 on the floor could mean more cuts. They say parents could have the option to take 60 percent of education taxes that they pay and put it toward their kid's private school, leaving 40 percent for the public schools.

"What they are saying is giving up on public education; this should never be a choice for Texas," said Boggs.

GQ Nell, a principal at Murfee Elementary says he has seen budget cuts before. "It's different in the aspect that it's so massive, I think we're had tight times before."

He says in years past there was a better estimate of people moving to Texas. Now, he says the population continues to grow ever year adding more kids to the school system.  

"If we don't get proper funding we will begin taking teachers away from the classrooms and ultimately that's where it happens for kids," said Nell.

The Texas PTA says the rainy day fund was last used in 2005.

Last time Governor Rick Perry was in Lubbock he said he wanted to save the fund in case of natural disaster, like the recent wildfires.

Thursday, The Texas PTA will head to Austin to persuade lawmakers to tap into the fund.

For more information on the Texas PTA visit www.txpta.org. For a list of Texas PTA's legislative priorities, visit www.txpta.org/legislative.

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