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Public school educators in Howard County are bracing for a chilly spring, financially speaking.
With the state facing a $15 billion shortfall, it stands to reason that financial aid to public school districts will be reduced this year, so it's not a question of if the fiscal news coming out of Austin will be bad, but how bad that news will be.
The Texas House's version of the budget will cut $5 billion from aid to school districts this year. If that version stands, Howard County schools will lose millions of dollars in state aid, according to figures released by Moak Casey & Associates, a firm that specializes in school finance and accountability issues.
Under the company's formula, Big Spring ISD could lose between $3.4 million and $5.1 million, while Coahoma ISD could lose between $924,000 and $1.12 million and Forsan ISD between $914,000 and $1.15 million. The wide ranges of the estimates reflect several possible funding formulas the state may follow.
Regardless, the financial impact on the county's school districts could be significant.
â€śThis is bad,â€ť Randy Johnson, Forsan ISD superintendent, said of the possible cuts. â€śEven if the cuts end up in the lower range (of the estimates), we'll be cutting into the meat of our budget.â€ť
â€śIf you're talking about cutting $3.4 million, you're talking about more than 10 percent of our budget,â€ť said Sandra Waggoner, chief financial officer at Big Spring ISD. â€śThat's a big hit.â€ť
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