Texas House eyeing $500M bump to schools this year

Money could be used for security, maintenance

Published On: Mar 21 2013 05:55:26 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 21 2013 06:15:00 PM CDT
AUSTIN, Texas -

Financially ailing public schools could receive another $500 million for the remainder of the school year under a new proposal in the Texas House.

Republican Rep. Jim Pitts on Thursday says he wants to give Texas classrooms another half-billion dollars through a supplemental spending bill. The House Appropriations Committee chairman says the money could help schools pay for security, maintenance or even hire new faculty.

Budget-slashing lawmakers in 2011 cut public school spending by a historic $5.4 billion. The House budget for the next biennium calls for reversing $1.5 billion of the cuts, and Pitts says giving schools more money now would put a total of $2 billion back in classrooms.

The proposal from Pitts comes a day after the Senate passed a $195.5 billion two-year budget proposal.