Teachers: Texas Shortchanging Public School Students

A national teachers group ranks Texas well below average when it comes to per student funding.

Data released by the National Education Association shows Texas spent roughly $10,400 per student this past school year, or $2,300 below the national average.  However, it was still more than the $9,400 one year earlier.

Meanwhile, the Texas Education Agency says it was more like $9,100 per student for the 2016 fiscal year, which was still a slight increase from the prior year's $8,900 per student.

While the numbers may be disputed, Clay Robison with the Texas State Teachers Association says either way you look at it, Texas schools are underfunded.

“The same people who say teacher unions always say this are probably the same people who are complaining about their high local property taxes,” says Robison.

He argues state aid to public schools has remained steady while local contributions have nearly doubled over the past ten years.

State Sen. Larry Taylor says that's the current formula the newly formed Public School Finance Commission is looking into. 

“The formulas are dated, the way we allot the money, some of it is 30 or 40 years old,” he says.  “We're using cost of education indexes from the 1990s.”

And it's not like the lottery is going to pay for public schools.

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