Thanks to my regular contributor, Jon for this link.
AUSTIN, Texas – Public education in Texas is facing billions in proposed budget cuts that would include slashing arts education, pre-kindergarten programs and teacher incentive pay as lawmakers take on a massive deficit with the promise of no new taxes.
Lawmakers got their first glimpse of what the next state budget might look like late Tuesday, including the $5 billion cut to public schools, as Republican Gov. Rick Perry and his supporters were dancing at an inaugural celebration.
Texas is facing a $15 billion revenue shortfall, and few corners of state government were spared in the draft proposal for the next two years. The Texas Constitution requires a balanced budget, and Republican leaders have vowed not to raise taxes.
The budget draft, which is expected to be filed as legislation in the House later this week, would spend $73.2 billion in state money and $156.4 billion in all funds for the 2012-13 budget period.
`'It's a catastrophe. No financial aid for kids to go to college. No pre-kindergarten for kids to learn their numbers and their letters. Health and human services slashed," said Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Alpine. `'No Texan can be proud of this."
The Legislative Budget Board was required by law to release the budget to leaders Tuesday, the fifth business day after the session starts. The draft is just the beginning of a long process, which probably won't be finalized until next summer when the governor signs the Texas budget for 2012-13.
The proposal would make public school finance reform legislation almost inevitable. It also would mean about 100,000 children would no longer have access to pre-kindergarten, schools won't get help building new science labs and would end a program that helps students earn promotion to the next grade.
Read more at news.yahoo.comWhile almost every other state agency would see a reduction in employees, the average number of full-time employees in Perry's office over the next two fiscal years would go to 132 from an average of 120.