Education budgets to be slashed
Wed, 27 Feb 2013 01:26:34 GMT —
At a time when schools are scraping for more money, at the end of the week, Texas public schools will lose $67 million in federal funds.
All thanks to the $85 billion budget cuts known as the sequester.
The Texas Region One Education Service Center estimates valley school districts will see 5.9 percent cuts in their federal revenue, for some districts that's more than a million dollars.
La Joya ISD stands to lose $1.5 million, Brownsville ISD $2.4 million.
Those cuts coming from federal education dollars for students who are economically disadvantaged, have special needs, and speak English as a second language.
Sharyland Superintendent Virginia Richter TMs district faces nearly a quarter of a million dollars in cuts but she says she won't cut teachers.
"We are not going to pink slip anyone, Richter said. "If we have to look at any reduction of force we will lose people through attrition."
Richter says they will look elsewhere to make the budget work.
"We are going to have to really look at our instructional programs to see we are we effectively and efficiently using every instructional programs or materials in the classroom to their fullest potential and if not, those will be the programs we may have to look at furloughing for a year or two, Richter said.
Richter does not see it as doomsday but an opportunity.
"I think it's a great opportunity for us to come back and evaluate the programs we do have in place and to see are we doing the most that we can be doing with the programs we have, Richter said.
U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar told Action 4 news he feels the pressure in Washington.
"I just got a letter signed by all the chancellors to the state of Texas saying how much this is going to affect them so all we need to do is sit down and work this out, Cuellar said.
He says the biggest hurdle is getting the nation TMs leaders to talk.
Whether the cuts come now or later, Richter says her district will do their part in stretching the tax payer dollar.
"When you look at the state of the U.S. economy. Something's got to give, Richter said. So if they equally take away from everything without going to the point of breaking one organization, than I think we all need to give a little to get our economy back on track."
Cuellar says he believes it would take a miracle for a deal to be reached by March 1, but has faith one will be accomplished soon.