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Parents speak out on education ahead of legislative session

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Posted at 10:08 PM, Jan 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-02 23:18:19-05

Education funding is expected to dominate the discussion in the upcoming legislative session. Many parents are speaking out on the topic ahead of the assembly.

Jenny Rasmussen is a mother of three. She wants lawmakers to listen to the unique needs of children raised in a military family.

“We are concerned about what supports there are for our children. So for my middle-schooler, what programs that are that match up to her talents and interests,” said Rasmussen.

The Military Child Education Coalition echoes a lot of the concerns that many families face.

“Professional development can look like an easy place to cut and it's not. If our educators have the opportunity to have the ongoing training and support they need to make a difference for each child, and not just five million, but each child, we’re never going to get there as a state,” said Dr. Mary Keller, Military Child Education Coalition.

Arts programming, special education and early childhood initiatives are among the many places parents discussed funneling money.

“The real issue we face in Texas for the last few years, and for many years is how we fund public education in this state. That’s a concern for parents, for seeing their school property taxes rise so much,” said Rep. Hugh Shine.

Among the bills includes a constitutional amendment that requires the state to pay for 50 percent toward the cost of operating and maintaining a public school system. This would restrict appropriation for public education unless that requirement is met.

Representative Hugh Shine also wants to explore giving the state school board more control over cash and real estate interests from the school land board. He wants to give the permanent school fund more authority in handling those investments.

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