POSTED: Monday, January 31, 2011 - 6:47pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 - 4:39am
AUSTIN — Dozens of school superintendents gathered Monday in Austin to decry proposed budget cuts that they say would devastate the quality of education Texas children receive.
Education would take a massive hit in early drafts of the next two-year state budget, as the state faces a revenue shortfall of at least $15 billion. Adhering to promises of no tax increases and no money from the Rainy Day Fund, the revenue was mainly made up with about $14 billion in cuts to state programs in the proposals.
Proposed cuts so far include almost $5 billion to public education and do not pay for an estimated 160,000 new students who are expected to enroll in public schools over the next two years.
"Gutting education funding in a state that grows by over 85,000 students a year where nearly 60 percent of those children come from poverty is certainly detrimental to the future of this state," said John Folks, superintendent of San Antonio's Northside school district. "I simply say: Don't balance this budget on the backs of school children in Texas."
Folks said the proposed cuts would mean significant layoffs.