The Senate Finance Committee is wasting no time getting the budget process rolling. Just a couple of days after being named, the committee is meeting this morning to discuss the state’s revenue projection, the constitutional spending cap, and several agencies in article III of the state budget, including the Texas Education Agency (TEA).
ATPE will testify before the committee later this afternoon. “The state of Texas is projected to accrue more in tax collections than at any point in history, yet the Senate public education budget still does not fund public education at 2011 levels,” says ATPE Lobbyist Josh Sanderson. “I will be telling the Finance Committee why it is imperative that we make the necessary investment in public education to achieve the results that are required of our schools, educators, and students.”
Both the Texas House and Senate filed their respective base budget bills for the session last week. Both proposals are very conservative and do little to restore the massive cuts in education funding enacted last session despite the nearly $9 billion budget surplus recently announced by the comptroller.
“The state has more than enough money to pay back the $5 billion in cuts made in 2011. The question is do they have the will,” said Sanderson.
Stay tuned for updates as the budget process progresses. The committee is scheduled to take up TRS funding tomorrow.