Texas House Passes School Funding Measure

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House has approved slashing $4 billion from Texas public schools and would establish a new school finance formula.

Since more than 80 percent of education costs are personnel-related, districts have already started laying off thousands of teachers. That will result in larger class sizes. Many special programs will not be funded, and pre-kindergarten would be cut from funding for full-day classes to only half-day.

The bill passed 81-62, mostly along party lines early Friday morning after 16 hours of debate. The bill will go to a conference committee where senators and representatives will negotiate a final

Under the current law, the state is required to pay schools more than what Republicans want to spend. The proposed law spreads the $4 billion in cuts over two years.