HOUSTON – Over the last two days Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has met with nearly 45 superintendents from Region IV to discuss the impact of Hurricane Harvey and subsequent flooding on their districts. On Tuesday, the lieutenant governor told school leaders that he has informed Education Commissioner Mike Morath that he supports increasing funding for those schools that gain students because of displacement following the storm and holding funding at current levels for schools that lose students because of displacement following the storm. Regarding facilities, the lieutenant governor informed the school leaders that between their own insurance and FEMA reimbursements, 90 percent of damage to school buildings, including contents such as books, computers and other assets, should be covered.
“Hurricane Harvey has impacted 272 schools districts and nearly one out five students in Texas. These school districts need certainty regarding state funding and as a state we need to step up to protect these students.
“I am proud that Gov. Abbott and I stood firm and did not raid the Rainy Day Fund during the regular or special legislative session because it is certainly raining now. In terms of our schools, between storm related damage costs and the expected decline in local property tax revenues due to decreased values, the state will almost certainly need to tap that resource as we did in 2011 and in other past sessions. This is what the Rainy Day Fund is for and I am committed to using it wisely.”