Category — Statistics
Texas made a strong showing in Newsweek’s 2013 list of America’s best high schools, with a focus on those preparing students for college. Use the sorting tool to find the schools in the state and in your area:
May 17, 2013 No Comments
In 2011, state legislators cut basic school funding by $4 billion – $2 billion each year of the biennium. Districts are now operating under the second year of those funding cuts.
At the request of State Representative Mike Villarreal (D – San Antonio), the Legislative Budget Board calculated and compiled these cuts for each school district and charter school for the 2012-13 school year.
Some interesting findings from the report:
- The five largest school districts in the state suffered a combined loss of $351.7 million;
- Houston ISD, a district that is over 90% minority and 80% economically disadvantaged, lost $126.9 million; and
- Westbrook ISD, located between Midland and Abilene, lost nearly $400,000, equivalent to $1,660 per student.
View the full document to see how state funding cuts affected local school districts and how much districts would have received under the previous school funding formulas.
October 22, 2012 No Comments
Between the 1999-2000 and 2009-2010 school years, state expenditures for public schools rose from $31.6 billion to $55.7 billion (76%), whereas enrollment in public schools increased 21% from 4 million students to 4.8 million. Why is the cost of education rising faster than enrollment?
The cost of education has risen for three primary reasons:
Inflationary Increases — Over the ten-year period beginning in 1999, inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, increased 29.3%. This implies that had the enrollment stayed exactly the same over that ten year period, expenditures would have had to increase from $31.6 billion to $40.9 billion just to maintain the same purchasing power.
Demographic Changes — Texas has long recognized that certain student populations are more costly to educate and have even written funding weights for those populations into law. The number of students requiring additional funding to educate to state standards has increased sharply, driving costs higher. While the overall student population increased by 21% between 1999-2000 and 2009-10, the number of economically disadvantaged students rose 50%, and now makes up 59% of total student enrollment. Further, students with limited English proficiency rose 47%. Source: “Enrollment in Texas Public Schools 2009-10,” Texas Education Agency
State Directives and Mandates — Every session, the Texas Legislature makes laws that cost school districts money. The most popular directive by the state over the past decade has been mandatory teacher salary increases. In 1999, the state mandated a $3,000 pay increase for every teacher. In 2001, the state provided new health care benefits and funded a $1,000 per teacher insurance supplement. In 2005, the state mandated a $2,500 pay increase for teachers. In 2007, there was a teacher raise of $23.63 per weighted student, which was followed in 2009 by a teacher raise of $60 per weighted student. Many districts, as a result of these state-mandated raises, felt compelled to offer raises to non-teacher staff simply for purposes of fairness. This document further illustrates cost drivers to Texas public schools.
Read more about the increasing cost of education here.
August 28, 2012 No Comments
Here are a few facts about student achievement in Texas public schools:
- The percentage of students graduating on the state’s Recommended or more rigorous Distinguished high school program has increased steadily over the last three years.
- The percentage of students completing Advanced or Dual Credit courses has increased steadily over the last three years. Additionally, Texas ranked 13th among the states in student’s achieving high scores on Advanced Placement exams.
- 84.3% of the Class of 2010 graduated from high school in four years. The graduation rate has increased over the past three years, including economically disadvantaged students and all ethnic subgroups, though substantial gaps among subgroups still exist.
- The dropout rate for the Class of 2010 was 7.3%. High school dropout rates have decreased over the last three years, including economically disadvantaged students and in all ethic subgroups. However, there are still substantial disparities in dropout rates among ethnic subgroups.
- 14 Texas public high schools rank among the top 100 schools in the nation according to Newsweek and U.S. News &World Report.
- Texas eighth grade students rank 10th among all states on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) math test, indicating that Texas is doing well in preparing children for the engineering and technical jobs.
July 3, 2012 No Comments
- Texas ranks 48th among all states in spending on public education, spending on average $8,654 per-pupil. (Source: (2012 Quality Counts by Education Week)
- On average, Texas school districts spend 3.1% percent of their operating budget on school district administration and 5.5% on campus administration. (2010-11 AEIS)
- Texas schools spend almost 2/3rds (62%) of their operating budget on instruction and instruction-related expenses; the rest is spent on food services, buses, utilities, and maintaining buildings, all of which are necessary for educating students. (2010-11 AEIS)
- Almost two-thirds (64.4 percent) of district personnel provide direct instruction to students (including teachers and teacher aides). District and campus administrators make up 3.8 % of the professional staff employed by districts. (2010-11 AEIS)
- 98.97% of districts received a “Superior Achievement” or “Above Standard Achievement” rating on the Texas Education Agency’s Financial Accountability system for 2009-10.
- 35 school districts received the highest (five-star) “efficiency” rating on the Comptroller’s Financial Allocation Study for Texas, based on the districts’ ability to generate high student achievement with low spending.
June 28, 2012 No Comments
School districts that seek to issue bonds may only do so with the approval of the local community in a bond referendum. Nearly 99% of all outstanding school district debt, about $62.6 billion, is voter-approved debt.
School district debt potentially falls into one of four categories:
- Voter-approved debt (98.4%)
- Maintenance and operations debt (1.0%)
- Lease revenue (0.6%)
- Revenue debt (0.01%)
Read more about school district bonds here.
June 11, 2012 No Comments
Friends of Texas Public Schools posted a new video, providing insight on international comparisons of student achievement: See it here.
May 30, 2012 No Comments
The Houston Chronicle ran a guest column today that calls for public schools to be run more efficiently. That’s a topic that Texas school districts have been actively working on for some time.
If you’ve been wondering about “efficiency” and how it relates to public education, the Texas Association of School Boards just printed this article in its Texas Lone Star magazine that touches on issues ranging from efficiency in school finance to best practices within school districts.
Back to the guest column in the Houston newspaper, it claims that only 65 percent of ninth graders graduate in four years to make the case that districts are not efficiently using taxpayer dollars. However, Grade 9 longitudinal data from the Texas Education Agency show that:
- 84.3 percent of the class of 2010 graduated;
- 7.2 percent continued in school the following year;
- 1.3 percent received a GED; and
- 7.3 percent dropped out.
This video from the Be Proud Texas campaign notes that Texas graduation rates, when broken down by ethnicity of students, rank highly when compared to similar student populations across the country.
May 16, 2012 No Comments
How does staffing in open-enrollment charter schools compare to traditional school districts?
Based on TEA data,
Administrators: Charter schools employ more central office and campus administrators and spend a greater percentage of their operating budgets on district and campus administration than traditional school districts.
Teacher Salaries: Charter schools pay teachers less, have almost twice the percentage of less experienced (0-5 years) teachers, and have fewer teachers with advanced degrees than school districts.
Teacher Turnover: Charter schools have a significantly higher teacher turnover rate, almost triple the turnover rate of traditional public schools.
May 7, 2012 No Comments
The next time you hear someone try to make the case that the administration in Texas school districts is bloated, reflect on this information:
The statewide academic excellence indicator system (AEIS) reveals that the ratio of central administrators to teachers was 1:49 in 2010-11.
If you add to that the campus administrators, the ratio of central and campus administrators to teachers was 1:13.
It is true that the ratio of non-teachers to teachers is approximately 1:1, but who are the “non-teachers?” Non-teacher personnel includes teacher aides, reading specialists, librarians, counselors, and nurses — and in many cases they have direct impact on a student’s academic achievement.
March 27, 2012 No Comments