Friday, September 21, 2012

One of the Largest Spending Gaps

This is not the kind of distinction that Texans ought to be proud of:
The public policy research and advocacy organization said Texas has "one of the largest spending gaps" in the country -- a difference of more than $1,100 per pupil, after factoring in differences in costs. "In fact, in 2012, the wealthiest districts received almost $1,500 more per pupil than the lowest-wealth districts," the report said, attributing the disparities to a "regressive" formula for distributing state and local funds.
This won't change until either the voters or the courts force the legislature to do something.

After the jump, the prospects for each.

The voters aren't about to change the makeup of the state legislature. Richardson's own legislators, Stefani Carter and Angie Chen Button, are part of the problem, not the solution, but both are shoo-ins for re-election. The legislature is ignoring the state constitution and the voters are letting them get away with it. Expect things to get worse. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst announced plans to push school vouchers in the next session. Carter and Button will almost certainly support this push to divert funding from public schools to private schools.

That leaves the courts to force the legislature to honor the Texas Constitution. Hundreds of Texas school districts representing about three fourths of all school children have sued the state, claiming that the existing school finance system is inadequate or unfair or both. The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard in October. If you care about children, about schools, about Texas, pray that the school districts prevail and force legislators like Carter and Button to do the right thing and fix Texas' school finance system and not just slash spending year after year.

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