Legislature Roundup – February 8
AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) – KRLD’s Austin Bureau reporter Robert Wood has his ear to the happenings down at the Capitol and over at the Governor’s Mansion.
Put Texas on a diet, or else
Texans are gaining weight and that’s costing billions. In 2005 the Comptroller estimated obesity cost business 3.3 billion dollars, that’s now up to 9.5 billion dollars and by 2030 it could be 32.5 billion dollar unless something is done.
Comptroller’s spokesman Allen Spelce says better school lunches is one thing along with fostering good habits early. “We’ve also recommended to the legislature that they increase physical education requirements for middle schools and high schools.”
The new report also recommends workplace wellness programs and having restaurants list nutrition and calorie counts on their menus.
Budget cuts could stall education progress
The Education Commissioner says accountability improvements could be put on hold because of proposed budget cuts.
State Education Commissioner Robert Scott says in order to keep schools going and continue to implement new accountability standards he needs six billion more dollars than is allotted in the Senate’s budget plan. He is also encouraging local school district’s to look at teacher layoffs last.
“Part of my frustration too is seeing the numbers of teachers proposed being laid off and we haven’t had a discussion of anything else yet.” He says as far as the new accountability system goes, students might be held accountable for information not in their old textbooks because there’s no money for new ones.