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AUSTIN, Texas – Public education in Texas is facing billions in proposed budget cuts that would include slashing arts education, pre-kindergarten programs and teacher incentive pay as lawmakers take on a massive deficit with the promise of no new taxes.
Lawmakers got their first glimpse of what the next state budget might look like late Tuesday, including the $5 billion cut to public schools, as Republican Gov. Rick Perry and his supporters were dancing at an inaugural celebration.
But the budget does propose millions of dollars in new fees. For instance, state employees and retirees who smoke would pay a $30-a-month "tobacco user monthly premium surcharge" and the attorney general's office would charge an "annual child support service fee," a "monthly child support processing fee" and an "electronic filing of documents fee."
It would shutter four community colleges and generally eliminate financial aid for incoming freshmen and new students. The Texas Grants scholarship program would drop by more than 70,000 students over the next two years.
The proposal also would reduce reimbursement rates by 10 percent for physicians, hospitals and nursing homes that participate in Medicaid — a decrease that could eventually dry up participation in the health care program for poor and disabled Texans. In all, $2.3 billion would be cut from Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and other health and human services.
The proposal would make public school finance reform legislation almost inevitable. It also would mean about 100,000 children would no longer have access to pre-kindergarten, schools won't get help building new science labs and would end a program that helps students earn promotion to the next grade.
While almost every other state agency would see a reduction in employees, the average number of full-time employees in Perry's office over the next two fiscal years would go to 132 from an average of 120.
Originally posted by buni11687
Im watching the Daily Show and theres was a clip about how states and cities are planning budget cuts, and one clip said Texas was thinking about dropping the senior year of high school. Ill look for an article but it might take some time.
Former Dallas ISD superintendent Linus Wright says he has an idea: Eliminate the 12th grade.
He argues the senior year of high school is the most wasted year of education. By the time most high school students reach their senior year, they’ve already completed most required courses.
However, others say the idea of cutting 12th grade in a state where just 61 percent of 9th grade students go on to graduate doesn't make sense.