Facts and insights about Texas public schools
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Students Pay the Price as School Funding Drops

A new commentary by Noel Candelaria, president of the Texas State Teachers Association, notes that the number crunchers at the Legislative Budget Board and comptroller’s office don’t have a political agenda on school finance. Both have documented the fact that the state government’s share of funding for public education has dropped, and will reach an historic low of 38 percent in 2019.

Candelaria dismantles the arguments of public education critics who oppose additional funding for public schools. “Money matters in determining educational opportunities. It matters in class sizes…Money determines how well-equipped classrooms are, how up-to-date instructional materials are, and how experienced and prepared teachers are,” Candelaria writes.

“We can invest in all students and provide property tax relief. But we can’t impose tax limits that handcuff local officials and jeopardize public services, as the governor, lieutenant governor, and [Texas Public Policy Foundation] propose. The effective way to lower property taxes is for the state to increase its share of education funding,” Candelaria writes.

Candelaria suggests tapping Texas’ $12 billion Rainy Day Fund to get started. “The cost of not changing the school finance system would be tragic, in terms of lost opportunities for millions of school children, and a drag on Texas’ future,” Candelaria writes.

Read “Yes, the state’s share of education funding is dropping, and the victims are our kids,” by Noel Candelaria, TribTalk.

January 2, 2019