Lone Star Losers

, National Center for Policy Analysis, Leave a comment

Texas is spending too much public education money outside the classroom, says Michael Quinn Sullivan, vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and its getting worse. Consider:

  • Since 1960, Texas has tripled real per student spending (on top of spending for inflation and population growth), but independent test scores and graduation rates have remained mostly static or worsened since the 1980s.
  • Today, Texas spends more on public education than it spent on all services in the late 1980s; but in 2003, the state’s comptroller found that less than 51 percent of each education dollar reached the classroom.
  • While the pupil-to-teacher ratio in Texas is 14.8 students per teacher — compared to the national average of 15.9 — the teacher-to-non-teacher ratio is almost one to one.
  • Spending more money on administration has not been shown to increase student achievement, but putting more resources directly in the classroom has.

Gov. Rick Perry announced at the conclusion of this last special session that he would implement many stalled reforms either by executive order or administratively through the Texas Education Agency. Although this method is not preferred, his ordered reforms will trigger better school spending, gradually improve academic performance and eventually lower the costs associated with public education, says Sullivan.