More pre-kindergarten classes, reading and math programs and campus security improvements could be coming to the Fort Worth school district, courtesy of a $74 million boost in state funding over the next two years.
The state budget approved Monday by the Texas Legislature includes $3.4 billion in new education funding over the next biennium, reversing many of the cuts made by lawmakers two years ago.
Of that, Fort Worth schools would get $29 million more next year and $45 million more in 2014-15, Deputy Superintendent Hank Johnson said in a budget workshop on Tuesday. In the second fiscal year, the district must pay $5.3 million more to the Teacher Retirement System. Here's Fort Worth ISD's budget website.
Judy Needham, school board president said Wednesday: "I am thrilled we are getting back some of the millions that the legislature took away. The majority will go directly into the classrooms to help our kids learn. We can offer more pre-K classes, hire more teachers to have smaller class sizes, buy new books and technology and install new security systems for school offices and numerous other important things to enhance learning. And we an offer teachers pay raises."
Steven Poole, executive director for the Fort Worth-based United Educators Association, also weighed in: "I am encouraged that we may receive additional funding from state. With the additional funds, it's my hope that more funds can be directed to the classrooms and more support given to our struggling schools. It looks like the school board and superintendent is on track to do that."
Read more in today's Star-Telegram.