Governor pitches school savings incentive in Lubbock

August 31, 2010

Fox 34 News, Lubbock

Nicole Garza

In the midst of the political season, one of the issues most discussed nationwide is education.

In the Lone Star State, Governor Rick Perry is drawing support for a new school savings incentive program.

"Sometimes there are functions that you find a better way to do them, and that's a better way to do them and save money so that those dollars can instead go into the classroom," Perry said.

Participating districts would receive a grant equaling ten percent of the total money they cut from their budget.

Superintendent Karen Garza says there's no doubt, L.I.S.D. can always afford to save a little money, especially if they can earn some of it back.

"There are tight times everywhere and I think people are trying to look creatively at at how we can save money, and this is definitely something that we can look at."

Robert Scott, the state's education commissioner, says the incentive funds will come from the Foundation School Program, which he says is the largest source of funds for public schools.

"We've already recognized significant savings in districts," Scott said.

In order to qualify, schools will have to cut back on administration costs.

"Whether it's special education or transportation, or shared curriculum, all the things that we do, we can help other districts and we partner together to build a stronger system," Scott said.

School districts are encouraged to partner up with other districts, counties, and municipalities, all to cut costs.

"I think there are ways that we can collaborate with other surrounding districts and share services, we're very open to that," Garza said.

Governor Perry is also pushing for more technology savvy schools.

"Say there's a math teacher, somewhere, who has a great math program, we can do it virtually, you get to save the money of that math teacher, pay whatever that cost of that program is," Perry said.

Dr. Garza says L.I.S.D. will do everything it can to qualify for the incentive.

"I'm anxious to hear about the details and how we apply, how much money will be available through the foundation of schools fund as the commissioner pointed out, we will definitely be watching to learn more about it," Garza said.

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