The Texas Legislature has approved a bill allowing public school districts to cut teacher pay and furlough them beginning in 2012, in an attempt to avoid mass layoffs.
Lawmakers have slashed school spending to balance the state budget without raising taxes or spending the Rainy Day Fund. The measure, which goes to Gov. Rick Perry, is designed to give school
districts the flexibility to adjust to lower per-student funding.
Supporters argue it's necessary, given budget woes, and will expire when school funding returns to 2010-2011 levels.
House sponsor Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, said limits "burdensome mandates," thus allowing teachers to take unpaid furloughs or salary cuts to stave-off larger job-cuts.
Opponents said demanding that teachers choose between their salaries and saving fellow teachers' jobs is unfair.