AUSTIN (KXAN) - Even though a judge called the school funding system 'unconstitutional' Monday, it could be another year or two before the Texas Supreme Court decides if the system is broken.
Some educators are urging lawmakers to act now and restore the money they cut last session to programs like full day pre-kindergarten.
The Georgetown school district was forced to scale back to a half-day program. GISD Spokesman Brad Domitrovich said there are 550 students enrolled in their pre-k program this school year -- nearly 90 fewer students than the year before.
"These are some of our lowest socio-economic families in the district," said Domitrovich. "Parents simply cannot afford child care mid-day or have the resources to arrange child pick-up in the middle of the day when they are working."
The Austin school district was one of the few in Central Texas to continue offering a full-day program for families.
In fact, Austin ISD opened a brand new pre-k and kindergarten campus this school year. The Uphaus Early Childhood Center in South Austin was built to relieve overcrowding on other campuses.
Principal Janice Hammond compares the work going on in the classrooms to a contractor designing a quality building.
"This gives us the opportunity to give the students that solid foundation that they're going to need for the rest of their learning career," said Hammond.
Nearly 90-percent of the students at Uphaus hardly speak English when they arrive. If all goes well, the 4-year-olds will graduate from high school in 2025.
"What we want is to see children be successful in the very end and beyond high school and beyond college and the best way to do that is to invest on the front end," said Hammond.
The district says they have done the math. Studies show AISD spends more money down the line helping students catch up in class who have not been through a pre-k program.
Principal Hammond's message to lawmakers: Two years is too long to wait to restore pre-k funding.
"Actually, it should have started yesterday."
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