The Texas House of Representatives have decided to pass laws that enable richer funding to pre-kindergarten as well as tax cuts. The new legislation was voted by the majority on Wednesday, April 8th. This was issued after a debate which lasted for more than five hours. Apparently, the Democratic Party were not only reserved but they fiercely opposed these two major changes. The laws represent promises made by the Republican Governor Greg Abbott, who now takes extreme pride in the House’s decision to take action.
130 million dollars will be allocated to pre-kindergarten programs, as long as they meet certain criteria. This refers to both curriculum and teachers, who must have high-quality training to be considered. This aims at promoting and encouraging early education in Texas. The law has been delayed and adjusted for quite a while and Governor Abbot thinks it was about time to make a decision regarding it, since it is a well thought out plan and the outcomes are expected to be very good. Even if the purpose was considered debatable and the costs were regarded as too high, he pinpointed the fact that very large sums of money are spent on far less important things, while this program aims at encouraging education among the most vulnerable children. This, he claimed, saves money in the long run, as costs will be reduced later on for remedial programs for students. However, he met resistance even among some of his fellow Republicans who believe that children should be home-schooled at that age and that the government should not get involved in these matters.
While some regarded it as a very effective measure, the new law was heavily frowned upon even by school representatives. They state that Abbot’s plan is deficient because, in addition to allocating more money for the pre-kindergarten program, it should also allow its extension to a whole-day schedule. Abbot’s response to this was that an expansion of the program should be the result of an impact study of the newly issued plan. This is mainly due to the fact that four years ago, in an attempt to prevent an even deeper economic crisis, a 300 million dollars sum was cut from the budget of pre-kindergarten.
On the same day, a 4.8 billion dollars tax cut was released. While Texans had been paying about 8.25 percent for the products they bought, this rate has decreased by 2.3 percent. The new rate of 5.95 will help families save 170 dollars a year on average. Dennis Bonnen , Chairman of House Ways and Means, explained that it is the first time tax is reduced and it will have ahuge impact on sales. However, tax reductions come at a price for the state, as the budget is expected to suffer greatly after the new regulations are issued.
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