AUSTIN -- Area school superintendents praised the vote by State Representatives Ryan Guillen and Richard Raymond Tuesday to blunt attempts by the Republican majority in the House to permanently cut as much as $500 to $1,000 a year from school employees for their health insurance.
"I applaud every effort our valiant legislators are making on behalf of our school districts. Their efforts to restore this money is appreciated as we struggle to produce a balanced budget for our school districts," said United Independent School District Superintendent Oscar Rodriguez.
Dr. Jerry Barber at Laredo Independent School District commented, "This is wonderful news. We really appreciate Representative Guillen and Raymond and their advocacy in this matter."
An amendment the two local representatives helped pass will "sunset" the GOP-backed cuts in school employee insurance funding in 2005. All school employees would receive the current $1,000 supplement in 2006 unless the legislature votes in the next biennium to change the amount of funding again.
"We were able to turn a permanent cut into a temporary one," Guillen said. Raymond said there is, "renewed recognition from many of the members of the House that this cut, like many others, was too harsh."
Appropriations Committee officials said this week that as the legislation now stands, school administrators who received $1,000 this year will receive nothing for the next two years. All full-time employees would be cut from $1,000 to $500 for the next two years and all part-time school employees would be cut from $1,000 this year to $250 a year for the next two years.
"The amendment we passed Tuesday night will restore all funding for teacher insurance in 2006 when we are hopefully past the current financial crisis the state is facing, relieving the rationale for the cuts that was used this year," Guillen said.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From the office of: State Representative Ryan Guillen
District 31 : Duval, Starr, Webb and Zapata Counties
For more information contact:
Communications Director Robert McVey ( email@example.com )
Office 512-463-0416 -- Cell 512-779-8914 -- Home 512-374-9525 -- FAX 512-463-1012
Southern District Office: