Katy ISD Superintendent Ken Gregorski criticized Gov. Greg Abbott in a Oct. 9 statement for not prioritizing further funding for public education in the Texas Legislature special session that began this week.

Long story short

Citing the governor's agenda for the session, which contains a single education item related to the pursuit of “school choice,” Gregorski said Abbott let the state’s public schools down.

“What is absent from the agenda is the fact that there is not a single reference to public education funding, nor the teacher salaries that support the 5.9 million public education students across our state. The agenda is clear. Providing school choice is the main priority. Adequately funding public education is not,” Gregorski wrote.

Gregorski noted the following aspects of school funding that he said are not being addressed:
  • The state does not increase funding when inflation rises, noting that Katy ISD is dealing with large increases in utility costs, fuel, insurance, cafeteria food, construction costs and other operational expenses.
  • The state’s basic allotment that provides for public school funding has remained unchanged since 2019.
  • During the regular portion of the 88th Texas Legislature, elected officials allocated $4 billion in new funding for public education, yet failed to pass the legislation.
  • School choice and public education funding should be dealt with separately, he said.
The big picture

Gregorski added that increasing the amount of funding schools would allow districts such as Katy to combat rising costs and still continue to attract high-quality educators, insure school safety and further charge the economic engine of the area.

“I encourage our parents, staff and community to think about contacting our governor’s office and your elected officials to talk about what Katy ISD and your schools mean to you, and how important it is to support teachers and staff,” Gregorski stated.