Supportive Testimony on Regional Service Centers: Last year the Texas legislature targeted regional education service centers for significant cuts in state funding. The Senate Education Committee in particular questioned the value of services provided by the 20 regional centers, even though the centers are relied on by many districts–especially smaller rural districts–for training and other specialized resources they cannot afford to develop on their own.
Today at an interim hearing the Senate committee met to pursue the topic further, but this time the tenor of the conversation was different. Testimony from many witnesses stressed the value of the work performed by regional service centers not only in professional training but also in improving districts’ financial management—particularly at a time when school districts have seen their own budgets sharply cut by the legislature as well. It was a message some senators may not have been eager to hear, judging by questions asked from the dais, but they needed to hear it.