“A state as great as Texas should not be near the bottom of the rankings in funding for our children and their public schools.”
So how is our Texas Legislature doing on this important mission? Here are a few facts:
- By one respected publication, Texas is 48th in the country in what we spend per student (adjusted for regional cost differences).
- Texas school funding on a per-student, inflation-adjusted basis, was lower in 2017 than it was in 2008.
- While local property taxes have increased in recent years, the state has decreased its share of funding for education over the last decade. As a result, we are facing both higher local taxes and stagnant or lower statewide real per-student funding.1
John knows that it matters to have good teachers in the classroom and good leaders in the principal’s office. It matters to have good librarians and counselors on campus. It matters to have good people to tutor after school, and to run the extracurricular programs that motivate and excite kids.
We can’t starve our schools of resources they need—and expect to have schools we are proud of and students who are prepared for global leadership.
We must combine strong accountability with strong state support—for our teachers and for the 5.4 million Texas students they educate.
Public schools are the lifeblood of our communities. The Legislature needs to start treating them that way again.
1 Sources: Education Week’s 2018 Quality Counts Report (using 2015 data, which was most recent federal data available) (operating funding adjusted for regional cost differences); most recent Legislative Budget Board Fiscal Size-Up (for 2016-17 biennium), p. 227 Fig. 169 (comparison between 2008 totals and projected 2017 totals).