Gov. Perry talks education, state economy, in Tyler - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Gov. Perry talks education, state economy, in Tyler

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – Governor Rick Perry was in Tyler on Tuesday talking about the State of the State Budget, and the Texas economy.

Lawmakers are trying to reign in a multi-billion dollar shortfall—nearly ten billion of that could come from deep education funding cuts throughout the state.

Some East Texas teachers voiced their concerns about those proposed cuts at Tuesday's press conference.

Inside the Brookshire's Warehouse, the discussion turned to the school house.

The Governor says education in Texas has improved over the past decade, and he doesn't think the public schools will be "Inextricably harmed by any reductions in funding over the course of this next budget cycle."

"Public schools in Texas are driven a great deal by the local level and the local ISD, and if there are unfunded mandate that come from the State of Texas on those public schools, or for that matter, our counties, or our cities," says Perry.

Jamie Womack, a Field Rep for the American Federation of Teachers says, "It is a state issue, because that is where the district gets their funding from. And if we're looking at 10 billion dollars short in public education in Texas, the districts are going to take a cut."

Womack was one of nearly three dozen teachers who made the trip to Austin on Monday to lobby on behalf of public education.

"We're looking at about a thousand dollars a pupil across the state… this is going to be devastating," Womack expressed.

Ideally, Womack says, the current student/teacher ratio would not be changed, as it's been proposed.

She'd also like lawmakers to consider tapping into the State's "Rainy Day Fund."

The Governor wants that be a "last resort, not a quick fix."

"Four or five years down the road, when our kids can't read or write because we're packing children in one classroom that's when we're going to see the results," insisted Womack.

Governor Perry did stress the importance of making government run more efficiently without raising taxes.

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