Thursday, September 16, 2010

TASA sends letter to U.S. lawmakers

TASA executive director Johnny Veselka sent a letter to every member of the Texas Congressional delegation today encouraging them to work to remove any barriers that are preventing the distribution of $830 million available to Texas school districts through the Education Jobs Bill passed by Congress last month.

While this issue has turned into a very political one, pitting Gov. Rick Perry against U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, the Texas Association of School Administrators is only interested in making sure that school districts in our state get the money they desperately need. The letter is meant to urge officials at the federal and state level to work together to make sure Texas schools receive their share of the money as soon as possible.

Here's the full letter:

This year, school districts across Texas are facing unprecedented budget constraints. Almost fifty percent of school districts in Texas passed deficit budgets this year and that number is expected to increase next year. In addition, the state is facing an $18-21 billion shortfall as we approach the next legislative session, which begins in January.

Many Texas school districts have already begun implementing major cuts in programs and services and are anticipating additional cuts next year. At the same time, Texas school districts are implementing new and more rigorous curriculum standards as well as a new assessment program. Trying to meet these increasing standards while drastically cutting funding will certainly have a negative impact on students, teachers, parents and local communities.

The Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) strongly encourages you to remove all legal and administrative barriers currently in place that would prohibit or hinder the immediate distribution of the $830 million in federal funds for Texas public schools that was part of the Education Jobs Bill. This funding is critical for the schoolchildren and teachers of T exas.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need additional information.

Johnny Veselka
Executive Director

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