Wednesday, October 10, 2018

#TXLEGE: The School Spending ## the Trib Neglected to Mention

"and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved."
2 Thessalonians 2:10

Ross Ramsey has an "analysis" column this morning about school finance:

Ramsey goes on to make standard arguments about the state "shifting the burden" of school finance onto local taxpayers.

He's not necessarily wrong.

However, there's another chart Ramsey doesn't show:

In other words, while it's true that local property taxes account for a higher percentage of total education spending, that spending is not being used to benefit children.  Instead, the local ISD's are using local property taxes to hire bureaucrats.  That's where all the money is going.

TPPF has more:
In the 2015-16 school year, for example, Texans spent $12,257 per student, with a standard classroom of 20 students receiving roughly $245,000. But teachers – the biggest factor in the quality of education – received only 21 percent of that per-classroom expenditure. The average teacher salary was $51,891.

Where did the money go? In large part, it went to administration.

Since 1993, the number of students in Texas has increased by 48 percent, while the number of staff has increased by 61 percent. Yet the number of administrators and other staff employees, not including teachers, has increased by 66 percent. Our public schools grew rapidly, but their administrations grew more rapidly still.

One study shows that if school districts had kept the growth of non-teaching staff to the same rate as the increase in students, Texas' public education system could have saved $2.2 billion annually or increased each teacher's benefits by $6,318.
[Note: Obviously, there's a discrepancy between the numbers in the two sources we cited.  We're not sure why.  Regardless, they point in the same direction and reveal the same phenomenon.]

Of course, that's also why we recently discussed necessary pre-conditions for any increase in state level education funding.

Bottom Line: "Shifting the burden" of education spending back to the state might make sense.  But the money needs to go to the classroom.  It would be nice if the Trib could make that distinction.

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