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Superintendent Carstarphen Defends AISD Finances In Texas School Finance Trial
Texas school districts are in court gathering evidence they hope will convince lawmakers that more money needs to be put into our public schools. But the Austin Independent School District keeps being asked why it needs more money when it shows a fund balance of $200 million.
Superintendent Meria Carstarphen answers, "It's not a discretionary bucket of dollars that can be used for anything. We use it to ensure that we're not taking loans unnecessarily, so when our taxes are not in we're able to use it to balance out our cash flow."
Much of the testimony today focused on how much AISD budgets per student and why students at Reagan High School would be budgeted more than students at other schools. Carstarphen testified that some students need more help than others and that costs money.
The schools hope the courts will order lawmakers to increase funding, and some lawmakers actually hope for the same thing. A court order would protect them at the ballot box from taking an action that -- while perhaps necessary -- is not politically popular.
By Fred Cantu