Topic: Budget

Texas Senate’s Budget Draft—Only a Marginal Difference from Disastrous House Version (plus a New Wrinkle)

The Texas Senate's version of the draft budget for 2012-2013 came out today, and it is different from the destructive House draft only at the margins. It would chop more than $9 billion from the funds school districts would receive under current, already-inadequate formulas for computing state education aid, coming close to the same $1,000-per-pupil annual funding cut on average....

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On the Cuts-Only Budget Plan, Stirrings of Dissent Among Texas House Members

The principal author of the House budget bill, House Appropriations Committee chair Rep. Jim Pitts of Waxahachie, took questions about it on the House floor yesterday, and it’s fair to say House members generally were none too pleased with what they heard. Three Republican lawmakers from parts of the state that would see their community colleges shut down by this...

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How to Wreck Public Education–The Texas House Budget Bill

The 2012-2013 Texas House budget plan is so awful it all but beggars description. It would cut $10 billion from public education funding for school districts over the coming two fiscal years. That is the equivalent of a $1,000-per-pupil annual funding cut, on average across the state. One of the state's top experts on school finance, independent consultant Lynn Moak,...

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Devastating, Cuts-Only State Budget Shows Why We Need a Balanced Approach

Last week the annual Quality Counts ratings of states' efforts in education gave Texas an F for its low level of spending on public schools. This evening the leaders of the Texas House published a proposed budget for 2012-2013 that would take the underfunding of our public schools to a new extreme. Their proposal would cut state per-pupil aid for...

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First Draft of State Budget Due January 18—A Cuts-Only Plan?

Leaders of the Texas House and Senate tell us the first draft of the state’s 2012-2013 budget will be released next Tuesday. By some accounts the proposal will cut state funding overall by as much as 25 percent, with education funding suffering a large share of the losses. The budget writers have been instructed to assume not one penny of...

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Initial State Revenue, Budget Numbers Coming Next Week

Next Monday, on the eve of the new state legislative session, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Susan Combs will unveil her official estimate of how much revenue lawmakers can count on for the upcoming 2012-2013 budget. It’s only an estimate, but it’s binding on lawmakers unless and until the comptroller sees fit to revise it. So as of Monday we’ll...

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Texas AFT and Coalition Partners Call for Balanced Approach to Balancing State Budget

A new coalition of Texans today urged state lawmakers to avoid brutal cuts in essential public services and come up instead with a balanced response to the state’s revenue shortfall, including full use of the Rainy Day Fund, maximum use of available federal funds, and tapping new revenue sources that treat all individuals and businesses equitably. At a well-attended capitol...

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Legislators, Opinion Leaders Preview Agendas for 2011

At this week's meeting of the Texas Education Reform Foundation in Austin, the roster of legislators on hand to discuss the upcoming session reflected the strong partisan tilt in Texas politics confirmed by the November election. Every legislator heard from was a Republican. To varying degrees, all bowed in their remarks to the partisan conventional wisdom around the capitol, which...

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Governor, Legislative Leaders Order More Budget Cuts Even Before Session Starts

More Budget Cuts Ordered Ahead of Legislative Session:  Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and Texas House Speaker Joe Straus Jr. have directed state agencies to come up with another round of budget cuts for the current fiscal year. The goal is to cut 2.5 percent more from the budget for the current biennium—in addition to the cuts that...

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Lieutenant Governor, Legislators Discuss Extent of Education Cuts

At a legislative briefing sponsored by the Texas Education Reformation Foundation today, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said he was "more optimistic than a lot of people" about the budget situation for the 2012-2013 biennium. He cited accelerating gains in sales-tax revenue over the last three months as one cause for such optimism. He cited the highest figure we have yet...

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