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TEA Submits Budget Request, Includes Suggestions for Cuts

08.29.2016 — The Texas Education Agency has submitted its Legislative Appropriations Request for the 2018-19 biennium to the Office of the Governor and Legislative Budget Board.

In June, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Speaker Joe Straus directed state agencies to reduce their budget requests by 4 percent for the 2018-19 biennium. TEA’s request includes the following suggested cuts:

  • Academic Innovation & Mentoring (100 percent reduction)
  • Best Buddies (100 percent reduction)
  • Educator Excellence Humanities Texas (100 percent reduction)
  • Adult Charter School Pilot (50 percent reduction)
  • Amachi (50 percent reduction)
  • Communities in Schools (15 percent reduction)
  • Non-Educational Community-Based Support (10 percent reduction)
  • Advanced Placement Initiative (5 percent reduction)
  • Reasoning Mind (4 percent reduction)
  • FitnessGram (4 percent reduction)
  • Teach For America (4 percent reduction)

TEA wrote: “The significant reduction in funding for these programs for the 2018-2019 biennium will have negative effects on the population of students benefiting from these services. TEA also eliminated funding for the Subsidy for Certification Examination (100 percent) because districts can use their federal Perkins money for this purpose and TEA reduced funding for Incentive Aid (33 percent reduction) because projections indicate less funding will be required.”

The agency also outlined nine exceptional item requests — or requests for funding above the amount allocated for the agency budget. Those items, detailed on pages 3-5 of the “Administrator's Statement” portion, are:

  • Math Innovation Zones grants ($20 million/two FTEs)
  • High-quality prekindergarten ($117,675,458/no FTEs)
  • Protect students from inappropriate educator relationships via investigation and prosecution ($391,134/three FTEs)
  • Implementation of Texas Student Data System ($6,000,000/11.5 FTEs)
  • E-rate high-speed internet infrastructure for classroom connectivity ($25,250,000/no FTEs)
  • Ensure student and teacher data privacy and cybersecurity ($13,410,120/17 FTEs and contractors)
  • Effectively implement low-performing campus turnaround and monitoring of districts of innovation best practices under HB 1842 ($1,000,000/seven FTEs)
  • Restore 4-percent reduction for STAAR test item release to improve transparency ($4,173,842/no FTEs)
  • Windham School District program expansion ($11,541,448/no FTEs)

View the TEA appropriations request.