Angelina Co. superintendents react to governor's cost cutting plan

Superintendent Roy Knight, Lufkin I.S.D.
Superintendent Roy Knight, Lufkin I.S.D.
Superintendent Gary Martel, Diboll I.S.D.
Superintendent Gary Martel, Diboll I.S.D.

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – With budget pressures getting harder to manage, elected officials have already started pitching ideas on how to increase revenue.

This week Governor Rick Perry proposed a new incentive program that would reward districts who partnered with other districts, counties, and cities to reduce administrative costs

The news of possible financial incentives is usually well-received, but not one that governor Perry recently pitched.

"It's almost a slap in the face to think we're wasting money and suddenly some ten percent incentive will help us look for more ideas," said Superintendent Roy Knight, Lufkin I.S.D.

Knight isn't alone with his opinion. Gary Martel, Diboll Superintendent agreed/

"I think the governor means well. He means well, but he also must understand we're already doing that," said Martel.

Angelina County districts already partner, not only with each other; but, other entities to save money.

"Executed a long time ago through the creative wisdom of a lot of superintendents and districts and school boards in this region," said Knight.

The governor's plan targets cutting administrative costs in school districts. Yet, area  superintendents have said they've already cut every penny possible.

In fact, 80 percent of rural East Texas students receive funding below the state average.

"We're building bricks without straw right now and to expect us to carry the same load with less mud and no straw is an impossibility," said Knight.

Martel is optimistic the governor's incentive plan will only be one of many ideas focused on boosting school funding.

"There's only so much more our district can do without some help from the Legislature to actually fund the schools equitable and make sure that all the students in Texas have the same opportunities and the same amount of money," said Martel.

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