FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/26/2013
TURNER FILES BILLS TO ALLOW ONE-TIME USE OF RAINY DAY FUND
TURNER FILES BILLS TO ALLOW ONE-TIME USE OF RAINY DAY FUND FOR SCHOOL SECURITY, CAREER/TECH EDUCATION
Measures will provide $500 million in grants for school districts
AUSTIN -- Yesterday, state Representative Chris Turner (HD 101 − Grand Prairie) filed two bills which would utilize a small portion of the state's Economic Stabilization Fund (the Rainy Day Fund) to make public schools safer and enhance career and technology education opportunities.
"There is currently a lot of discussion about both security and career/tech options in public schools," said Turner. "These two bills will help local districts make their schools safer and improve infrastructure to support career and technology education."
HB 1770 allocates $250 million from the Rainy Day Fund for school security upgrades such as cameras, door locks and buzzer systems. School districts, along with the Texas Education Agency (TEA), will have the flexibility in determining how the grant money will be used to better secure schools .
HB 1771 calls for $250 million from the Rainy Fund to pay for career and technical education equipment and infrastructure. School districts and the TEA will again have the flexibility to use the money in a way that matches the needs of the district's career and technology programs.
The $500 million the two bills would expend represent just over 4 percent of the nearly $12 billion the Rainy Day Fund is projected to hold at the end of the next biennium.
"These two bills will help accomplish two critical needs: making public schools safer for students, faculty and staff and providing better career and technology options for young Texans. I think both of these goals are shared by a bipartisan majority of the Legislature, so I am hopeful that both bills will draw bipartisan support," said Turner.
"Governor Perry and other state leaders have said that the Rainy Day Fund should be utilized for one-time infrastructure improvements this session," Turner said. "If we can spend billions on physical infrastructure, there is no reason why we can't spend a fraction of that amount to protect and nurture our most precious assets, our state's young people."
CONTACT: Emily Amps