Political Fight Blocks Classroom Funds - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Political Fight Blocks Classroom Funds

AMARILLO, TEXAS - A big chunk of federal funds could be withheld from local classrooms because of a political disagreement. The federal government moved to help districts struggling with tight budgets by authorizing $10 billion of special funds -- $830 million of which were supposed to head to Texas.

But a congressional representative from Austin put in an amendment to the funding bill saying Texas shouldn't get the money unless governor Rick Perry agrees there won't be any cuts to the state's education budget for the next three years. Perry says making that agreement would violate the Texas constitution because funding can't be guaranteed.

Perry wrote a letter to the Texas association of school administrators stating: "Despite our state's demonstrated financial commitment to public education, congress is punishing Texas teachers and students by making it practically impossible for Texas to receive these funds."

The representative behind the amendment Lloyd Doggett responded with the following statement:

"Instead of concocting phony legalistic arguments to deny our local schools the funds that they so desperately need, Governor Perry should join with us in support of public education."

After this back and forth argument US Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and a representative from Dallas have filed to have that amendment repealed. Experts don't expect this to be resolved until the next legislative session, so it could be a while before Texas get those federal funds, if ever.

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