Witness says cuts to schools came amid bad economy - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Witness says cuts to schools came amid bad economy

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A budget expert has told Texas' school finance trial that the sluggish economy contributed to the state Legislature's decision to cut almost $5.4 billion from public schools in 2011.

Testifying Monday was Rob Coleman, assistant director of fiscal management for the Texas Comptroller's Office. He detailed how a bad economy has created budget shortfalls.

But under cross-examination, Coleman noted that lawmakers could have avoided the cuts by pulling money from the state's Rainy Day Fund.

Coleman was the first witness after a three-week holiday break in the case before Austin-based state District Judge John Dietz.

More than 600 school districts responsible for educating three-quarters of Texas' over 5 million public-school students have sued the state over the 2011 cuts.

Texas' attorney general's office argues that funding is adequate.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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