Texas Schools, Making Do on a Shoestring
The Hutto Independent School District stopped providing bus rides for students within a two-mile walking radius of campus. This move saved them twenty-five thousand dollars, and is only one of many tactics schools are using to survive after Texas lawmakers cut public education by five point six billion dollars. Class sizes have shrunk, services have been reduced and teachers have been fired. Schools sell advertising space on the sides of their buses, charge parents if their children take part in athletics or cheerleading, and in suburban Fort Worth one school district started charging for students to use the school bus. Another district has teachers cleaning and sweeping their classes after the janitors work days were cut. Despite this Gov. rick Perry said he saw no need for a special legislative session to restore some of the education funding. He is quoted as saying, “How that money’s spent is the bigger issue.” Meanwhile, Mr. Soto, teaches five classes, works 12 to 20 hours a week, on and off the clock, despite his athletic bonus being cut by about two thousand dollars and district teachers not having received a raise in two years.