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      Budget cuts could hurt teacher training

      A large group of teachers spending the afternoon as students, brushing up on their skills.

      It's just like any other day at the Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg, but with threats of closing the center over the years due to budget cuts, educators like McAllen ISD superintendent Dr. James Ponce are concerned.

      "It would make it very difficult there's a lot of things we'd have to rethink how we do it. The service center is a big part of what we do and what we do for our children and their families so we would be at a loss," said Ponce.

      That is because superintendents learn about changes in requirements and how to implement them from the service center.

      Executive Director Jack Damron said no dollar amount for cuts is known but he's still concerned.

      "We need as many staff on deck as we can possibly have because of all that TMs required of us and our school districts because of the accountability system and the new statewide assessment system the STAAR," said Damron.

      A top education official testified before the Texas school finance trial in Austin this week and said another $8 Billion is needed to bring students up to par on the new standards with nearly half of Texas 9th graders not on track to graduate because they failed at least one of the state's new standardized tests.

      It's a problem the center works to avoid.

      "I believe our schools would be deeply impacted if service centers were shutdown or if we were defunded in some way,"

      Budget cuts are nothing new to education but they don't make it any easier for teachers to do their job.

      The executive director said he doesn't think the state would shut this program down altogether, however the state is not yet saying what's next on the chopping block, with more than $5 Billion dollars getting cut.