Legislative Leaders Call for More Pre-Session Spending Cuts by State Agencies, Including TEA

State agencies, at the direction of the state’s legislative leaders, have already gone through a round of 5-percent cuts in their spending for the current two-year budget cycle. At a Legislative Budget Board meeting today, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus, the presiding officers of the Texas Senate and House, announced that they will ask state agencies to comb through their budgets for fiscal year 2011 (which started September 1) and recommend yet another round of cuts.  Already chopped by the Texas Education Agency have been funds for mentoring of new teachers, for after-school programs, for up-to-date textbooks, and for science labs students need to meet higher graduation requirements. Texas AFT will keep you informed as we learn where the ax is going to fall next. We also will keep making the case for a balanced approach to the current revenue shortfall, including use of the Rainy Day Fund, tapping into all available federal funds, and raising new revenue—because Texas cannot cut and slash its way to a better future for our students or our state’s economy.