PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times reports President Trump's tax returns show chronic losses; and will climate change make it as a topic in the first presidential debate?


2020Talks - September 28, 2020 


The New York Times obtains President Trump's tax returns, showing chronic loss and debts coming due. And Judge Amy Coney Barrett is Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Study Examines Effect of Funding Cuts on Texas Schools, Students

A new study examines the effects that a $5 billion funding cut had on Texas school districts and their students over a five-year period. (Raedle/GettyImages)
A new study examines the effects that a $5 billion funding cut had on Texas school districts and their students over a five-year period. (Raedle/GettyImages)
October 5, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas – Funding cuts by state lawmakers left a five-year, $5 billion hole in the budget for Texas public schools between 2011 and 2016.

A new University of Texas study analyzes the effect of those cuts, made because of state revenue shortfalls, which forced many districts to operate with less money despite a growing number of students.

Michael Marder, a professor and co-author of the study at the UTeach Institute at UT, says although state spending is beginning to rebound, there is still a need to deal with the problems caused by the cuts.

"Even if funding returns to previous levels, a five-year period where it was underfunded leaves not just a five-year hole in the budget but a five-year hole in what students learned,” he stresses. “So, they are going to be coming to the system having learned less than they might have otherwise."

Marder says during that five-year period, the report shows that many districts were forced to cut class size, hire fewer teachers and limit non-core programs such as art, music and computer science.

He says properly funded school districts are better able to attract and retain high quality teachers and provide a wider variety of courses.

Marder points out the research shows that as the state begins to restore funding, the money is not always returned to the same programs to serve the same students.

"Accelerated instruction, which is for students who are struggling and need extra help, went down, particularly in schools with a lot of low-income students,” he explains. “Funding in the schools serving the lowest income students for bilingual education went down by as much as 40 percent."

Marder says restoring the funding does not always deal with the problems created by the five-year "funding hole."

"The neediest students may still not be receiving the same level of support they did previously, and I think this is a matter of concern to every citizen of Texas who cares about fellow citizens and the future of the state," he states.

Marder says the study is the first of its kind to analyze the academic and practical effects of budget cuts on students in Texas school districts.

Mark Richardson, Public News Service - TX