Vote for candidates who will prioritize education funding
Date Posted: 2/20/2014 | Author: Jennifer Mitchell, CAE
This post is the first in a new Teach the Vote series: A Dozen Days, A Dozen Ways to Vote Your Profession. From now through the March 4 primary election, we’ll explore a top education issue each day– one that is likely to be discussed in the policymaking arena over the next two years. We hope to show you exactly what’s at stake and why it’s so important to elect candidates who will support public education.
At issue: The State of Texas is once again defending itself in a massive school finance lawsuit. Although the case is still pending, a district judge has already said that the state’s system of funding public education is unconstitutional, which means it fails to fund our schools adequately or equitably. Most educators would agree with that, considering these facts:
- Texas is among the 10 lowest states in the nation in terms of per-pupil expenditures.
- After adjusting for inflation, state spending on public education rests at about the same level it did in 2003.
- Our outdated system for equalizing school district funding doesn’t work: Current annual funding ranges from $5,000 to $12,000 per student depending on where the student lives.
- Even though our student population grows by nearly 80,000 children each year, the teacher population is shrinking because districts can’t afford to hire more personnel.
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