Senate Public Education Investment Falls Short

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Chandra Villanueva

Today the Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on the importance of investing in public education.

When District Court Judge John Dietz found Texas’ school finance system to be unconstitutional last year, he did so on the grounds that Texas fails to adequately invest in public schools and the available resources are not equitably distributed. One key result of this unfair system is that the growing population of low-income students is falling behind.

There are several important factors we need to consider when we talk about ensuring fair and equitable investments for schools, which will help to close the achievement gap low-income students experience:

  • Due to drastic cuts in education by the Legislature in 2011, per student spending today is currently $631 below pre-recession levels
  • The number of low-income students is growing at twice the rate of the overall student population
  • Low-income students now make up 60 percent of Texas’ total student population

Education spending

Five million students in Texas’ public schools aren’t getting the quality education they will need to be future Texas leaders and form a competitive workforce. The Legislature must act to adequately and equitably invest in public education before considering tax cuts. Texas has the revenue available to make sufficient investments for the education of all children, and to increase the academic success of low-income students.

Click here to read my testimony as given on February 9, 2015.

 

Written Testimony: Senate Finance SB2 by Center for Public Policy Priorities

At the Center for Public Policy Priorities, we believe in a Texas that offers everyone the chance to compete and succeed in life. We envision a Texas where everyone is healthy, well-educated, and financially secure. We want the best Texas - a proud state that sets the bar nationally by expanding opportunity for all. CPPP is an independent public policy organization that uses data and analysis to advocate for solutions that enable Texans of all backgrounds to reach their full potential. We dare Texas to be the best state for hard-working people and their families.

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