Even without ASATR, Carthage might fare the best of Panola County’s three public school districts. The other two—Gary and Beckville—could be in worse shape. Todd Greer is the superintendent of Gary, a school district just fifteen miles or so from Carthage, depending which Farm-to-Market road you take. ASATR accounted for $1.3 million of Gary’s $5 million budget last school year. Greer says that Gary, a school district with less than 500 students enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade, would be essentially bankrupt in two years without the program. Still, he remains hopeful that legislators will extend ASATR funding during the special session. “It has such a simple fix, to such a huge, catastrophic problem,” Greer said. “I can’t fathom people in the state of Texas not fixing that problem.”
Madison spends far more per student, now nearly $20k, during the 2017-2018 budget.