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A Houston Lawmaker is Putting Pressure on the Harris County Department of Education

The Harris County Department of Education discussed an action that might dissolve their agency— it’s in the form of a sunset review.

A sunset review would put the Harris County Department of Education under scrutiny by analyzing their efficiency and how tax payer’s dollars are being spent.

James Colbert is the Superintendent of the department and believes Senator Paul Bettencourt called for this evaluation to end the agency.

“I’ve always felt like a sunset review was served as a method for him to go about reaching that goal,” says Colbert.

With a 110 million dollar budget, Colbert says they help thousands of special needs children, 10,000 adult learners, and do a number of other services throughout Harris county school districts.

Colbert can’t fathom why Senator Bettencourt wants to do away with the agency.

“He’s not been able to give me, in my mind, legitimate reasons for why we shouldn’t exist,” says Colbert. “That’s typically where he and I are at odds at.”

For Bettencourt’s part, he says the agency should welcome the review.

He urged them to voluntarily evaluate their services, and says they took no action.

 “I think transparency says that we need to find out about what actually going on at Harris county department of education, and them taking the step as trustees would have made it a transparent sunset review,” says Bettencourt.

He plans to request a hearing for Senate Bill 1166 which would call for a mandatory sunset review on the department.

 

 

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