(AUSTIN) — Earlier this week, leaders of Spring Branch ISD publicly described some of the difficult budget decisions the district is facing due to a possible lack of meaningful investments in public schools from the Texas Legislature. The Texas School Alliance, which represents 45 of the state’s largest school districts, released the following statement from President Brian Woods and Executive Director HD Chambers:
“Hundreds of school districts across Texas share the concerns that Spring Branch ISD leaders expressed about possible cuts to academic programs, the elimination of teaching jobs and even consolidation of schools. Public schools are facing a crisis caused by a shortage of educators and the impact of 14.5 percent inflation since the last time legislators invested meaningful new dollars in our schools. In addition, the federal funding that has allowed school districts to forestall major cuts over the past few years is ending.
“Legislators have proposed targeted investments in public education over the next two years, but those investments do not match the severity of the challenges public schools face. Texans see their local schools reducing course offerings and struggling to find substitute teachers and bus drivers, and those Texans had high expectations that legislators would make the real investments that our kids and teachers need — especially at a time of abundant surplus dollars in the state treasury. The fact that those investments have not materialized with less than seven weeks to go in the legislative session is causing real concern in communities across Texas.
“Spring Branch ISD spoke courageously to its community about the challenges it is facing. We hope to work with legislators over the next six weeks so that districts throughout Texas do not have to face those same painful decisions as they put together budgets for the next two years.”