Texas schools get $830 million from federal budget deal

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 12, 2011 7:13 PM
Texas schools get $830 million from federal budget deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Schools in Texas will get $830 million of federal aid freed up under a provision in the last-minute Congress' budget deal.

Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett said in an e-mail on Tuesday that the deal repeals a federal law enacted last year that required Texas to spend the same amount on schools for three consecutive years or have the aid delayed.

Texas was the only state put under this restriction, which some Democratic Texas Congressmen said was needed because Texas spent some of the dollars it received from the federal stimulus plan on other items.

"Our sole objective has remained to ensure that federal aid to education actually aids local Texas schools with additional help rather than being diverted by the state as occurred in 2009 with $3.25 billion of federal aid," Doggett said.

Texas, like many other states, is relying on sweeping cuts to education and healthcare to help close a multibillion-dollar budget deficit. The state's next two-year $164.5 billion budget plan spends $23 billion less than the current budget.

Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry and other top state officials have rejected tax hikes, which intensifies the pressure on the Texas Senate to keep many of the spending cuts already approved by the House.