Breaking News
More () »

State reps. respond to Williamson County decision to withhold CARES Act funding over library books

The commissioners court last week said it will withhold funding for Leander and Round Rock ISD.

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas — About a week after the Williamson County Commissioners Court decided to withhold CARES Act funding from Leander and Round Rock ISD, a handful of democratic state representatives are asking them to rethink their decision.

Last week, the court identified the two districts due to reading material available to students that was deemed inappropriate. On Monday, the representatives penned a letter in response.

"We had a dad come not too long ago and read us excerpts from some books that were allowed in the Leander school district, and I'm not just saying Leander's the only school district, but I'm saying that that was what was presented to us and it was appalling. It was embarrassing to hear him read it. It was not right," Commissioner Valerie Covey said on Tuesday.

The court, along with Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell, agreed to visit both districts about the reading materials. Gravell said the funding would be withheld indefinitely if the districts "choose to go a different path."

The letter was signed by Reps. John H. Bucy III (District 136), Vikki Goodwin (District 47), Donna Howard (District 48) and Celia Israel (District 50). It can be read below:

Judge Gravell and Commissioners,

We, the undersigned representatives, write to you today to urge you to reconsider your decision with respect to Federal CARES Act funding allocations for Leander and Round Rock ISDs.

We were disappointed to hear of the decision to provide additional CARES Act federal funding to every student in Williamson County except for students in Leander ISD and Round Rock ISD. As representatives of these communities, their taxpayers, and their children, we find it unconscionable that our public schools, teachers, and students would be punished through no fault of their own but because of political disputes.

You have previously been thoughtful and gracious enough to provide CARES Act funds to our public schools, even when not required, to offset the momentous challenges and learning loss we are seeing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As you allocate a second wave of CARES Act funding, we are asking that you show that same forward-thinking and responsiveness by voting to extend funding to Leander and Round Rock ISDs. These two districts serve the overwhelming majority of students in Williamson County and the funding in question could go a long way to address the challenges they continue to face throughout the pandemic. In short, the students in these school districts deserve the same support as any other student in Williamson County.

We thank you for your time and consideration as you continue to lead our county through these unprecedented times. We ask, again, that you do the right thing by the families and taxpayers in Leander and Round Rock ISDs and allocate funding as you have for every other school district to support our teachers and students. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns about this matter.


Austin police looking for suspect in child sexual assault investigation

Austin-area COVID-19 cases up 95% from a week ago, but hospitals in good shape

Texas was No. 2 most moved to and most moved away from state in 2021, report says

Before You Leave, Check This Out