Tuesday, June 21, 2011


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                        Contact: Amanda Robertson

June 20, 2011                                                                                                  360-770-4660


Texas House passes Senate Bill 8 & Senate Bill 6

House passes Public School efficiency measure and expands access to new classroom resources.


Austin Wrapping up the third week of special session, the Texas House of Representatives passed an education funding measure expanding local school district's control of their financial decisions (SB-8), and expanded classroom resource availability for individual school districts (SB-6).


Representative Cain voted in favor of the bills citing the special applicability of both measures to rural school districts. "I supported these bills because they prioritize educators and ensure responsible use of taxpayer dollars," Cain stated after the record votes Thursday.  He explained, "Educating our students is not a one-size-fits-all venture. Rural schools operate under much different circumstances than urban schools."


Senate Bill 8 allows school district officials the ability to budget their funds more directly in accordance to the needs of their respective schools. Senate Bill 8 eliminates unnecessary mandates that have come to burden many local districts. For example, the FITNESSGRAM , a national fitness assessment program developed to communicate fitness levels to students and parents, will now only be a requirement of those enrolled in physical education classes. Also, school districts will have more flexibility to obtain waivers for maximum class sizes. 


"Local school officials understand the problems within their district,” Cain believes, “Management of fiscal decisions by each district results in efficient distribution of funds and ensures continuing excellence in education for our students."


Senate Bill 6 amends the education code to replace the state textbook fund with a state instructional materials fund. This will diversify the classroom experience beyond just simple textbook education. “Students are growing up in an age where technology is at the forefront of their education and it is an important and necessary tool for a successful future,” said Cain. Each district is allotted a specific amount of funding based on the number of students in its district. The materials purchased with district funds will remain the property of the school and district rather than be returned to the state.


Cain believes these local control measures will help teachers and administrators maintain high levels of quality education by allowing the school districts the flexibility to adjust to local needs. 






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