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Education town hall set Thursday


Legislators will speak on the state of school funding, answer questions

Students, parents and concerned community members are invited to attend an Education Town Hall Thursday evening with state Reps. Ben Unger and Joe Gallegos and Sen. Bruce Starr.

Hear from your legislators about recent activity surrounding education at the legislative level and ask questions.

K-12 school funding for the coming biennnium is at the forefront of minds of local school leaders.

The state Ways and Means Committee co-chairs have proposed $6.55 billion in school funding. Local school district superintendents recently explained what that might mean for their districts.

Bob Huston, superintendent of the Banks School District, foresees "status quo staffing levels," with "an eye on adding back sections" at the elementary level, if possible.

But, Huston warns, "The current projected funding levels fall well short of helping us recover from staff and program cuts since 2008."

In Hillsboro, Superintendent Mike Scott says the proposed funding levels still won't prevent more cuts from his district's budget.

Hillsboro schools have seen $61.3 million in cuts to the general fund since 2008. Scott foresees an $8 million budget gap for 2013-14 and another $5.6 million the following year with the proposed funding levels.

"That said, we are still lobbying for additional money to be allocated to K-12 education."

The forum is set for 7 to 8 p.m. at Century High School, 2000 S.E. Century Blvd., Room N225, in Hillsboro.