LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – A six-foot-tall three legged stool is now inside Longview High School’s Mickey Melton Center. It has a simple message: fund Texas education.
The giant wooden stool was at the state capitol in Austin and is now touring the state. Each leg symbolizes funding needed for schools.
As of now, Texas has only secured two funding legs out of three, as billions of federal stimulus dollars intended to provide pandemic relief to our state’s public schools have not yet been committed to our schools.
The third leg of the stool is the stimulus money that is earmarked for public schools but has not made it to the classroom.
“We will take the next four to five years educating some of our kids that have gotten behind in the COVID slide,” Longview ISD Superintendent Dr. James Wilcox said. “This is a one time stimulus to help fund that. We are going to have to have after school programs, we are gonna have to have extended years programs.”
The district was joined by Raise Your Hand Texas, which is a public education advocacy organization that works to ensure public schools receive the funding they need.
According to Longview ISD, the first round of funding last spring went to Texas schools, but lawmakers used most of the money to replace funds that schools were already set to receive.
They say the state has not yet made the decision on how they will use money from the second and third stimulus rounds, so advocacy groups and school leaders are making their positions known.
“This is going to affect every student that we have,” Wilcox said, adding that COVID-19 left schools with problems that will take years to solve.
“Millions of Texas students—and that’s no exaggeration—have been without their regular classroom teacher. And a majority of those students are economically-disadvantaged, and those are the students who’ve been affected the most by not being in the classroom with their regular classroom teacher,” he said.
Wilcox said that since the money was allocated for Texas public schools, 100% of it should be going to Texas public schools.
- Police: Missing Texas tiger has been found safe, healthy
- PHOTOS: 22 people rescued after roller coaster in Arizona gets stuck
- Tyler Parks, Keep Tyler Beautiful unveil 19 new murals at Hillside Park art wall
- The real Alexa? Voice of Amazon assistant may have been revealed
- East Texas 15-year-old publishes 4th novel with plans to write more