Texas Public Schools

Texas House Attempts Ambitious School Funding Fix

Apr 8, 2015
Flickr user Phil Ostroff / cc

AUSTIN — An ambitious House proposal to fix the much-criticized way Texas pays for its public schools seeks to pour $3 billion extra into classrooms and reduce the state’s reliance on the so-called “Robin Hood” funding mechanism — even as a multiyear court battle continues to rage.

Unveiled Tuesday by the lower chamber’s leading schools expert, Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, the sweeping bill would increase per-pupil funding for 94 percent of the state’s 5.2 million public school students — with some school districts in wealthy areas, or those not currently collecting local property taxes at high enough rates, virtually the only ones left out.

genefortexas.com; Source: Texas Legislative Budget Board

DALLAS — Texas has improved its state support for public education but still lags behind most of the nation, according to an annual report issued Wednesday. The report from the National Education Association also showed Texas ranks first nationally in the number of public school districts and second to California in enrollment.

Public school revenue per student in Texas rose from $9,909, 41st nationally, in 2012-2013 to $10,334 in 2013-2014, 39th nationally. In those same years, the national average rose from $12,090 to $12,357.

Texas school districts had to generate 49.5 percent of their revenue, ranking 15th nationally, in 2013-2014, up from 47.8 percent in 2012-2013, 18th nationally.

Courtesy Southern Education Foundation

HOUSTON — Michelle Davis opened the trunk of her black Mercury Mountaineer, placing inside plastic bags full of jeans, a blue-and-white striped Polo and other clothes.

A youth services worker with the Spring School District bought the clothes for Dewayne, Davis’ son who attends Westfield High School. He’s one of nine children and grandchildren, ages 3 to 18, who have been living with her, supported largely by food stamps and a disability check for Dwayne, who has suffered seizures and a brain injury. “I’ll take anything,” said Davis, 51, of the much-needed help.

Ryan E. Poppe

Teachers on Spring Break are using their week of vacation to detail a legislative agenda at the State Capitol. Hundreds of members of the two largest teachers’ unions in the state met one on one with lawmakers, and rallied at the Capitol on a number of issues they said would improve education and the lives of educators.

Chartered bus after chartered bus pulled up near the Capitol to drop off teachers from all across Texas, hoping to convince lawmakers to vote “Yes” on a number of proposals involving education and benefits for educators.

Flickr User: wonderlane / cc

Nationwide, while 70% of foster youth say they want to go to college only 3% ever graduate from a post-secondary school.