Chairman Promises to Fund New School Enrollment

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AUSTIN, Texas -- A powerful committee chairman has promised to provide funding for an increase in public school enrollment over the next two years.

Texas adds about 80,000 new public school students a year. When the Legislature last met in 2011, they did not provide funding for new students and cut $5.4 billion in school funding. Democrats have made restoring school funding a major priority this year and proposed setting a rule Monday requiring the House to fund school growth.

The rule proposed by Houston Democrat Armando Walle was voted down, but Waxahachie Republican Jim Pitts, who chairs the appropriations committee, said during debate that he would introduce a budget bill on Tuesday that would increase school funding at least as much as is required to pay for school growth.