Budget cuts to Texas prisons could make it harder for inmates to take what is for many the first step to creating a life free of crime: getting an education behind bars.
The state’s $117.4 billion budget includes a 5 percent cut to state prisons, a reduction of $230 million, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The school district that serves only Texas inmates will see a 19 percent reduction of its $71 million budget. This could force the layoffs of as many as 300 teachers and staff members.
Nearly 84,000 inmates take reading or vocational classes or earn their General Educational Development certificates through the district. In addition, funding for the prisons’ college program is expected to drop by a third.