Educators Worry About Huge Texas Budget Cuts

Texas – Educators fear that a new measure that will slash $4 billion in funding to Texas public schools over the next two years will permanently handicap them.

Advocates say the plan expected for final approval removes any long-term obligation for the state to maintain a minimum support level.

Normally, schools' funding levels are determined by a formula based on enrollment, but for the first time since World War II the Legislature has reduced per-student funding.

Advocates argue lawmakers could fund everything else before appropriating education money, potentially leaving schools with a smaller chunk of money each year.

Rep. Rob Eissler says the cuts were unfortunate but necessary because of lower state revenues. However, he says the state is dedicating 60 percent of its general revenue on education, up from 57 percent.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.