Federal Funds Announced For Local Schools: Will They Ever See It?

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POSTED: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 4:27pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 5:44pm

EL PASO- El Paso Congressman Silvestre Reyes says local schools are getting $30 million. But tonight, there are serious doubts that borderland schools will see any of that money.

Congress set aside $10 billion last year to help local education. Of that, $830 million is going to Texas. Whether that money is going to local schools is another question altogether.

"Either late this week or early next week, the Department of Education will send the money to Texas," Congressman Silvestre Reyes said today during a press event.

Where it goes from there, however, is anyone's guess. Of the $830 million coming to Texas, Congressman Reyes assured us in this news release that about $30 million is set aside for El Paso area districts.

$10 million to EPISD, $7 million to Ysleta and Socorro, $2 million to Clint, and $1 million to Canutillo. Four other districts could get extra funding as well.

But the state of Texas, not Congressman Reyes, decides whether to release that money.

"Does that money ever really come to to the school districts or is the money just used to supplant what the state of Texas should be funding," said EPISD Superintendent Lorenzo Garcia.

Currently, Texas is required to fund schools with certain amounts of state money. But local superintendents say the state might use this federal money instead of its own.

That would ease the overall state deficit, but continue to under fund education.

"The reason that many people are thinking that this really won't happen is because of what's happened in the past." Garcia said.

Texas got federal funding for education a few years ago, but the Governor's office decided to use the money at the state level, withholding it from local schools.

Congressman Reyes hopes this time, things will be different. He says the Governor's office is promising the money will be doled out to school districts and not kept in Austin.

"Nothing is ever definitive until they actually get the money but we're expecting them to get at least that amount of money," Reyes said.

The issue at hand is will federal dollars make it to local districts, or will the state use it to ease the deficit. We'll follow the money trail and keep you posted.

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our schools actually recieving those sums of money have always been just a scratch on the head..The State of Texas, doesnt issue out the amounts necessary to help aid the schools but rather to save it for a rainy day. This is a big problem..We have schools that have to shut down and teachers that are underpaid. Yes, the distribution of money is completly wrong and guideance for improvement to these schools are non existant. When does it end if our problems start with our own state laws...

Well as you reported 35% of the district are from mexico.You then reported that it cost 5k for every child in the district.

So why would texas hand you money when you allow the parents of these children to not pay back into the system.So there is tens of thousands of dollars missing from our state.

You aren't willing to properly educate the kids now so your excuse "they deserve education too" does not work anymore because our kids of this country deserve it too, since we pay for it.

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