Texas Senate Panel Approves $1.4 Billion More In School Spending

AUSTIN (February 28, 2013)--Budget writers in the Texas Senate Thursday backed roughly $1.4 billion in additional public education spending that would pare back some of the historic school finance cuts the Legislature made in 2011.

The proposed budget adopted Thursday by the Senate Finance Committee includes $40 million for prekindergarten, which would offer school districts some help after budget-slashing lawmakers two years ago eliminated a $200 million grant program for pre-K.

Republican committee Chairman Tommy Williams called the $40 million a "down payment" toward full-day prekindergarten statewide.

The panel also approved a nearly $1.4 billion bump in school spending.

More than $5.4 billion was cut from public schools in 2011 as lawmakers closed a massive state budget shortfall.

Last week, the National Education Association announced that Texas' per-student spending had fallen to 49th nationwide.

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