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Perry Continues His Education Push

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Governor Perry has charged 13 superintendents from around the state to help implement his new classroom spending plan.

The plan breaks down school spending into 2 sections. Sixty-five percent of total revenues must be spent on what's considered in the classroom, and 35 percent on what's considered outside the classroom.

Under the plan items considered in the classroom include teachers and personnel, general instruction supplies, instructional aides, and activities such as field trips and athletics.

Things considered outside the classroom include administration, maintenance, food services transportation, instruction support, teacher training and curriculum and student support.

But administrators say the plan doesn't take growth projections or the rising cost of products and services into account.

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"Two years ago, I was spending $1.47 for gas," said College Station Superintendent Steve Johnson, "and today I'm paying 2.67 for gas so that's a variable that I don't control, the cost of fuel."

Johnson says, in essence, everything school districts spend money on goes towards the betterment of the classroom, so he doesn't think there's a need for a split in funding.

Representative Fred Brown approves of the plan and says administrative spending has gotten out of control.

"I think it's wonderful," Brown said. "I would like to have seen the percentage of classroom spending a little bit higher. But that's a good starting point. In the past we've had this huge increase in administrative costs statewide."

Many educators say they support putting more money in the classroom, but fear Governor Perry's plan could actually eliminate some of the people and programs that help students excel here.

"We have librarians, we have counselors, we have nurses, we have transportation issues, we have food services issues, all of those cost factors," Johnson said.

A meeting between TEA and the governor's task force is scheduled for September 7th.