Six Republican State Senators stood side by side this morning at the Capitol and proclaimed that the budget can be cut in Texas, even education, without affecting the classroom. Senator Florence Shapiro says she has filed legislation that would make it easier for districts to relinquish themselves of administrative staff.
"We have curriculum departments, 7, 8, 10, 12 people in a school [district] where the state does all their curriculum! We've got lots and lots of non-classroom people that need to be looked at first and foremost," Shaprio said at the morning press conference.
University of Texas professor of education Ed Fuller says it's a myth that school districts are top heavy with administrators.
"Most of the people are providing either direct services to students through diagnosing special education issues or providing social work, or they're providing direct assistance to teachers and principals to improve their practice," Fuller told KUT News.
Fuller said cutting those administrative staff may disproportionately harm school districts with higher populations of harder to education students, like economically disadvantaged kids or children with special education needs. In Austin ISD, about 3 out of 5 children are classified as economically disadvantaged. In Del Valle ISD, about 4 out of 5 children fall in that category.
We also learned this morning that superintendents and school board members from across Texas will gather at the State Capitol on Wednesday, March 30. They will urge lawmakers to make education a priority as they finalize the budget.