How do we know Texas schools are “underfunded?” Because they say so?

Pratt on TexasAlmost every story written about public education spending in Texas and what is to be done by the state’s legislature is composed with an assumption that not enough of private individuals’ money is being confiscated and given over to public schools.

Ross Ramsey at the Texas Tribune recently wrote: “According to the Legislative Budget Board, we’re on track to spend $55.4 billion on public education in the 2019 fiscal year, including $5.3 billion from the federal government, $19.4 billion from the state and $30.7 billion from local school property taxes.”

Lately the assumption is not that local property tax revenue is too high but that the same taxpayers need to pony up even more through a different collection stream to “balance” the share schools receive.

It is merely an assertion, an assumption, that schools are truly underfunded. Some may be but many others have resources to spend on every “good idea” of an elective, facility, etc. they can dream up. Most schools outside of the largest didn’t have baseball programs, for example, until the last couple of decades, long after they claimed to be underfunded.

How about we work to take away the much vaunted “local control” to the extent of making sure most funds go toward PEIMS [Public Education Information Management System] coded “instruction,” making sure most money is used for true classroom teaching, and force a stripping down of the giant non-instructional bureaucracies which now consume fifty-percent or more of funds.

After we have done that for a decade or so, we can talk about whether there is enough money to properly educate Texas children.

What do you think?...

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