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Abbott Disavows Responsibility for Public Education Funding Crisis

Texas Governor Claims No Role in School Budget Shortfalls, Points to Districts

Governor Greg Abbott’s recent remarks on school finance have sparked outrage among Texans, as he shifted the blame for budget cuts and deficits onto local school districts.

In a radio interview, Abbott claimed that the state is not responsible for the financial woes facing schools, instead attributing the issue to districts’ alleged mismanagement of federal pandemic relief funds.

This stance has drawn criticism from educators, parents, and lawmakers, who argue that the state’s lack of funding and support has contributed significantly to the crisis.

Abbott’s comments come as numerous school districts in Texas, including the state’s largest, Houston ISD, and others like Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and Spring Branch ISD, grapple with massive layoffs and cuts to personnel.

Abbott Says School Districts Must Bear Consequences of Budget Decisions

The districts are facing significant shortfalls, with Houston ISD recently slashing its janitorial staff and cutting over 100 employees who work with students dealing with poverty-related issues.

Cypress-Fairbanks ISD has eliminated hundreds of positions, including librarians, while Spring Branch ISD cut 215 positions in February due to its $35 million deficit. The Texas Legislature’s failure to pass a comprehensive education bill in the 2023 session has exacerbated the issue.

The bill, which aimed to increase per-pupil spending and provide bonuses to staff, including teachers, nurses, counselors, and librarians, was rejected after House members removed Abbott’s school voucher program proposal from the legislation.

Despite a record $32 billion surplus in the state’s bank account last year, Texas officials have not taken adequate action to address the school finance crisis.

Lawmakers from both parties have urged Abbott to call a special session to address the issue, emphasizing the importance of adequately funding public education in Texas.

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