Democratic lawmakers urge Gov. Abbott to release $19B in federal funding for Texas schools

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Some Valley teachers say students are falling behind in learning due to the pandemic.

Sylvia Tanguma is a teacher who sees how students have fallen behind their grade level everyday in the classroom. Tanguma says what many students lack is direct help.

“They really need to be up to grade level so that they can continue and start that college readiness,” Tanguma said.

She says schools need more staff to give students tutoring and more counselors to help them navigate the mental stress caused by the pandemic.

That is why federal lawmakers approved $19 billion worth of relief funds for public elementary and high schools.

But Gov. Greg Abbott has not handed over the funds because the state government would have to follow two rules:

  • Keep state budgets for public schools comparable to how they were before the pandemic
  • State must protect high-need school districts from state spending cuts

U.S. Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-McAllen), U.S. Rep. Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville), U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo), along with other congressional Democrats, sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona stating in part, “due to bad faith denial and delay of these funds by Governor Abbott, not a single dollar of the already-approved funds have reached Texas schools.”

Read the entire letter here

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office was not available for comment on this story.


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