Local & State leaders ask law makers for more money for public schools

- Listing off several programs that have lost funding over the years in Texas, Mayor Sylvester Turner desperately asked law makers to rethink funding for pubic schools as legislatures return for special sessions.

"Music and arts have been cut, special needs students do not have the services and interventions that they desperately need", says Mayor Turner.

Programs aren't the only thing that these officials are worried about here in Houston. HISD trustee president Wanda Adams says, "it saddens me as a trustee knowing that I am a product of the Houston Independent School District Cashman High School and knowing that in the largest school district in the state and the 7th largest in the country, that my alumni is one of those schools that could possibly be on the chopping block because funding was taken away".

At a rally Saturday afternoon the Texas PTA president Lisa Holbrook mentioned dollars that could have been used on children. She says, "over the last ten years roughly $2.2 billion in property taxes collected in excess of what was anticipated, has allowed the state to decrease it's funding for public education, freeing of that $2.2 billion to be spent on other costs of the state".

Holbrook says the states share of public education funding has dropped to 38.4%. She says if schools were properly funded by the state, debated over programs like the vouchers for families looking to send their students to private schools wouldn't be taking place.

Mayor Turner says it's time for change and more funding for public schools. "I hope that the state leaders will do their state jobs and not ignore it and not pass the buck and not try to fund education on the backs of local communities, that time is long gone", says Mayor Turner.

Holbrook also says that Texas spends $339 dollars less per student today than it did back in 2008.

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