Lufkin ISD Superintendent weighs in on House Bill 1

Superintendent Roy Knight
Superintendent Roy Knight
Rep. Wayne Christian
Rep. Wayne Christian

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - (KTRE) - It's been a contentious session for state lawmakers, most debate has centered around the budget. Among those with the most at stake: educators.

With the passage of House Bill 1, superintendents like  L.I.S.D.'s Roy Knight are preparing for what's to come.

"House Bill one makes the kind of cuts to public education we'll never actually recover from should this stand," said Knight.

State Representative Wayne Christian voted for this budget. He thinks very differently about school funding.

"Education gets 56% of all general revenue dollars - so for those that say, and I've heard this from time-to-time, that we legislators do not put education first in Texas - is absolutely untrue," said Christian.

While education cuts would total $5 billion, Christian points out that $2 billion in rainy day funds are going back to schools.

"This is a session where we have no control because of so many factors including the largest downturn in the market since the great depression," said Christian.

Superintendent Knight is cautiously hopeful about any senate changes to House Bill 1.  However, he's also being realistic and knows there could be some real reductions to L.I.S.D. funding.

At this point, nearly $300 million in public school technology will disappear.  So will 30% of textbook funding.

"We have the same science books for a dozen years, the same social studies books for as many," said Knight.

Knight worries that continuing to pass along programs to future generations could cripple classrooms.

"We're preparing to do with less, but don't continue to expect us to do more with less," said Knight.

Christian admits hard decisions had to be made.  Nothing is final yet, he says amendments can always be added later.

What do you think? In which of areas would you prefer your school district to make budget cuts?  Take our web poll.

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