An early assessment from educators provides a grim reaction to the $5.4 billion that Texas lawmakers have cut from public education, according to a survey of some 3,500 teachers and school employees.
“It’s important to document what’s going on now, so that we can make the case that there is an impact when you cut money to public education,” said, Linda Bridges,” president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers.
Layoffs have resulted in larger class sizes, low morale, lack of resources, longer hours, bullying by administrators, and less time to plan and prepare classrooms for learning, according to the non-scientific survey conducted by Texas AFT.
“The survey documents what we are hearing,” Bridges said during a teleconference with reporters Thursday. “It also shows that there is a direct impact to what the Legislature did to what happens out in the schools and what happens to kids.”
More than 80 percent of the respondents described the school learning environment as “worse or much worse,” Bridges said, and more than 70 percent described school conditions as “stressful and taxing” for students, teachers and staff.
Republican leaders who pushed for the public education cuts said a massive budget shortfall required them to reduce school spending. They also said the cuts would not materially affect public education for about 4.9 million Texas public school students.