SAN ANTONIO- As the 83RD Texas Legislature convenes on its’ first day one of the biggest challenges lawmakers will face is public school funding. As a result of the last session, Texas schools saw their budget slashed by 5.4 billion dollars.
That’s why Northside Independent School District (NISD) Superintendent Dr. Brian T. Woods, PhD., who oversees the fourth largest school district in the state, wants his district and others to push this new group of law makers to put money back in schools.
“As a way to balance the budget in the last session they only funded 23 of the 24 payments in the biennium and so the August 2013 payment to public schools across the state has literally not been funded at this point," explained Dr. Woods.
Dr. Woods said districts like his have to come up with a way to pay bills for the month of August without any help from the state. For a large school district like Northside, that's a price tag of 40-million dollars.
In Dr. Woods' mind it's a simple solution; lawmakers need to pull from the 8-billion dollar rainy day fund and tap into to the state’s surplus.
“In the current biennium the one that we're in now, there's almost a 9-billion dollar surplus, more money sitting there that has been budgeted,” explained Dr. Woods.
Dr. Woods also said public school funding needs to stay in public schools.
“The concern is really more about pulling money out of a system that's already taken a big cut, putting it into private schooling. The concern is I think it is less about charter schools that it is about a voucher type program”.
NISD has taken a big role is educating parents, students, and tax payers about their priorities for the 2013 legislative session, so have the entire interview with Dr. Woods below.
For a full listing of the NISD 2013 Legislative Priorities and contact information for local Texas lawmakers, CLICK HERE...