Texas education allocating less state dollars per student? - What's Your Point?

- Texas ranks 36th in the country on the amount of money spent on each public school student.

The Texas Education Agency has recently signaled to law makers and school districts that the state has a green light to allocate less to students this year than it did last year. The reason, rising property values will allow school districts to collect more local property taxes, therefore reducing the state's responsibility.

The panel this week: Jessica Colon - Republican strategist, Tomaro Bell - Super Neighborhood leader, Steve Toth - former State Representative, Kier Murray - political consultant and analyst,, Bill King - businessman, columnist and former Kemah mayor, Tony- Diaz - Chicano activist and educator.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Thousands of additional children in Texas soon will be eligible for special education services and a primary concern for educators is finding about 9,000 special education teachers to instruct the children.

The Houston Chronicle reports that state officials estimate it will cost more than $3 billion to provide the instruction to some 150,000 additional students by 2021, about a 30 percent increase.

Lawmakers also need to find another $50 million to provide compensatory services to students wrongly denied assistance in the past.

The U.S. Department of Education previously concluded that Texas school districts, for more than a decade beginning in 2004, illegally capped the number of special education students at 8.5 percent of total enrollment.

The Chronicle has reported the 8.5 percent cap was well below the national enrollment average of 13 percent.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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