Houston Independent School District Superintendent Terry Grier is one of those school leaders in Austin. He's attending the Texas Association of School Administrators mid-winter conference for two reasons.
"Seven of our schools are being recognized as blue ribbon award winners. And then in addition to that I'm spending time with members of the legislature to talk about the proposed budget cuts and what that would mean to the Houston Independent School District and frankly to the children of Texas."
More than half of the school districts in Texas — 529 — have signed onto a resolution asking legislators not to make public schools bear the burden of a massive state revenue shortfall.
"It's a matter, it's an issue of revenue and when you, when you're short on funds you have to try to make hard decisions about what to cut. And we're trying to convince them that, you know, education is linked very tightly to the Houston and to Texas' future and economic development. We know we may have to do more with less. We just don't want to have to do more with a lot less."
Dr. Grier says he realizes that legislators have crippling choices to make, in light of an already troubled school funding system. But those tough choices could mean teacher layoffs and school closures. School districts in Texas stand to lose $5 billion per year under current state budget proposals. HISD could lose $202 to $348 million — about 15 to 20 percent of the district's total budget.