As a public charter school, UT Elementary receives 71 percent of its funding from the state. It has been hard hit with recent state budget cuts. Not only have class sizes have increased this year, but the school has had to do away with pre-K assistants, reduce custodial services and make certain positions part time.
To raise awareness of the challenges facing Texas schools and the context of budget cuts within the legislature, UT Elementary hosted a panel discussion on Oct. 8 at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. The evening began with Melissa Chavez, principal of UT Elementary, introducing two students, Sukeji and Rebecca, who stole the show reading their letters to their legislators. Evan Smith then moderated the panel discussion featuring Dr. Catherine Clark, Commissioner Tom Pauken, Dr. Bob Sanborn and Jason Sabo.
Listen to the proceedings at UTES-Education-Dialogue.mp3. (Evan Smith gets the panel discussion started at about 13 minutes and 15 seconds.)