Says 25 percent cut would eliminate one million textbooks for students
AUSTIN – Texas will provide over one million fewer textbooks in literature and English language arts if the Legislature approves a proposal to cut funding for instructional materials by 25 percent, according to Robert Scott, Commissioner of Education.
Scott made that assessment in a letter addressed to Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Speaker Joe Straus, urging the Legislature to fully fund Proclamation 2010.
The Texas Education Agency requested $547 million for English language arts and reading textbooks, scheduled for purchase during the 2010-2011 state fiscal biennium and slated for delivery this fall.
“Reducing funding for Proclamation 2010 by 25 percent, as is under consideration by SB1, would result in shortages in textbooks for Texas students,” Commissioner Scott wrote in his letter. “Even by reducing quotas and maximum costs, the state would ship over one million fewer books in literature and English language arts, with some subjects and grade levels eliminated.
“Given that these textbooks are a critical foundation for student achievement and success, cutting funding by that amount would undermine students’ instruction in the core curriculum,” Scott added.
Other groups are also calling for full funding of Proclamation 2010, including the Texas PTA and Texas Conservative Coalition.
Kyle Ward, Executive Director of Texas PTA, issued the following statement:
“Not only does the Texas Constitution require the state to provide free “text books,” but it also just makes sense for the state to pay for quality materials that explicitly address the state-mandated standards upon which children are tested in state-mandated assessments,” Ward said. “No other subject is as critical to a student’s long-term success in school as Reading. A great deal of new research has occurred in the last decade on how students learn to read, so new textbooks will be a welcome help to our teachers”
Twelve members from the Texas Conservative Coalition chaired by Representative Wayne Christian issued the following statement:
“We believe that fully funding Proclamation 2010, as requested by the Texas Education Agency, is the right thing for Texas school children. There should be no delay in providing Texas teachers with instructional materials that are aligned with new standards in order for our school children to continue to be successful in their education and future. “