Statehouse Democrats say the budget proposal Governor Mike Pence unveiled Thursday doesn’t tell a true story when it comes to increasing education funding, with some lawmakers saying Pence is using “fuzzy math.”
Governor Pence’s proposed budget contains a 200 million dollar increase in K-12 school funding over the next two years. That includes about 41 million more dollars specifically set aside for charter schools. And it eliminates the cap on how much school vouchers are worth. Austin Democratic Representative Terry Goodin says a 200 million dollar increase doesn’t tell the whole story when it’s split between traditional public schools, charters and private schools.
“People are confused at home," says Goodin. "As I speak to constituents, they say, ‘Hey, they gave you 200 million more dollars in education.’ Well okay, yeah but here’s where this money went. So that money’s not coming back to communities like it should.”
Office of Management and Budget Director Chris Atkins says Pence’s goal is increasing overall education funding and points out that the governor’s proposed budget is only the first step in a nearly four month budget writing process.