Texas public schools will receive textbooks and state funding later than anticipated

Lufkin ISD Workers
Lufkin ISD Workers

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Last-minute budget cuts may leave Texas schools unprepared for the new school year.

"We don't have anything going on with textbooks for this next year because the state's not paying for them", said Lufkin ISD Superintendent, Roy Knight.

"It's extremely frustrating, I think, for our teachers and for our parents", said Stephen Wright of Texas AFT.

State funding is being held-up, forcing districts to tap into emergency money. Books won't hit the desks until a month after school starts, in late September.

"Teachers find a way to make due to upgrade their curriculum with or without textbooks", said Knight.

Teacher troubles don't end there. With the switch from the TAAKS test to STAAR exam. Teacher advocates say students will suffer.

"The curriculum and the textbooks are more aligned with that test, and so that's going to impact them as well. This is probably the worst year to happen that the textbooks are going to get there later", said Wright.

  A smaller budget is forcing cutbacks across the board. Lufkin ISD is letting go of 15 staff members, increasing class size, and leaning on their "rainy day fund" to pay workers.

"Most school districts will have to borrow their first month's payroll. For other school districts, like ours, it means we'll have to dip into our savings to make ends meet because the state won't be sending their money until later. We'll get it, it'll just be later", said Knight.

School districts are saying if the legislature had better allocated money for this school year, they would be more prepared once school starts.

"I think it was an afterthought. Education was not their top priority at all", said Wright.

"We can't keep doing more and more with less, certainly with the poorest districts like ours", said Knight.

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