Straus promises $2B in extra public-school funding

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AUSTIN, Texas - Texas House Speaker Joe Straus says lawmakers will fund public schools this session enough to keep up with booming enrollment growth -- a $2 billion proposition.

The San Antonio Republican also told The Associated Press on Friday that he hopes the Legislature will restore $4 billion in cuts to schools its members approved in 2011.

Texas' fast-growing population means enrollment in its public schools increases by over 150,000 students per year, requiring an additional $2 billion in the state budget to keep up.

Straus said, "The good news is we're dedicated to doing that." The Legislature reconvenes Jan. 8.

In 2011, lawmakers voted to cut $4 billion from the state's school funding formula. Straus refused to commit to restoring that money, but he said "I hope we can.


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