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Nacogdoches ISD and schools statewide waiting on school funding decision

School Funding
School Funding
Updated: Jan. 28, 2021 at 12:10 PM CST
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NISD Superintendent Dr. Gabriel Trujillo

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The pandemic has impacted school enrollment statewide. Last year the state agreed to send districts pre-pandemic funding, forgiving enrollment drops. The grace period has ended. Lawmakers are now deciding whether or not to extend the provision.

Each day students wait in line for lunch. While superintendents hold out for a pre-pandemic funding formula.

“It’s the funding you get based on students attending school,” explained Dr. Gabriel Trujillo, superintendent for the Nacogdoches Independent School District.

The concern is losing millions in funding based on current enrollment.

According to the Texas Education Agency, the Nacogdoches ISD stands to lose $1.3 million due to an almost 4% enrollment drop or 244 fewer students than last school year.

Lufkin ISD could lose over $2-million with enrollment dropping over 5%, or 402 fewer students.

“We don’t want to see our schools suffer any more than all of us have suffered,” said Representative Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches. “We’ve all got to take some of burden and share some responsibility for the aftermath. But we’re not going to put this on the backs of our schools, our students or our parents.”

And education advocate, Raise Your Hand Texas stated, ‘Schools hired teachers and staff based on historic student attendance and having to reduce budgets now will impact the academic and social-emotional programs they provide to our students.”

With that said, superintendents are receiving the message to get missing students back in school.

“The question is where are our pre-k kids,” said Trujillo. “There’s where you’ll see enrollment drop in a lot of our school districts.”

School administrators will work on that, but remain persistent with legislators in hopes they act swiftly by doing right by teachers.

Trujillo says NISD is good financially for the rest of the year. “I’m consciously optimistic that there is going to be some funding that’s there.”

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