What to know: Misleading statistics continue to dominate the school finance debate. They’re wrong, and they’re not helping move Texas forward, as just the latest example shows.
“According to the state’s recent budget projections, public schools are expected to see $55.4 billion in funding for the 2019 fiscal year, up from $44 billion in 2010. However, Texas is spending less per student by about 6.3 percent,” the Denton Record-Chronicle reports.
“Property owners will also end up shelling out more for schools. The local share of school revenue — the part funded by property taxes — will go up to 55.5 percent, while the state’s share will drop to 35 percent. Federal money fills in the gaps.”
The TPPF take: There’s a reason many cite the numbers from 2010; that’s the year the federal government injected billions of dollars into the Texas education system through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the stimulus bill).
“The truth is that over time, overall funding for public education increased substantially, going from $43.1 billion in 2007 to $60.6 billion in 2017,” says TPPF’s Kara Belew. “Taxpayers who are paying skyrocketing local property tax bills should not also have to pay higher taxes at the state level in higher sales or gas taxes. Before taxes for public education go up, school districts should use their existing tax dollars to improve student results.”