Updating the texas cost of education index
#2 Obsolete Provisions Favor Students in Some Districts Over Others Various hold-harmless provisions in the state’s funding formula have caused inequities for decades.Most notably, a Target Revenue system was overlaid on Foundation School Program formulas after local tax rates were compressed by House Bill 1 in 2006, which essentially set a per-pupil funding floor for districts.Although the Texas Supreme Court ruled last month that the state's school finance system satisfied minimal constitutional requirements, it also declared that the children of Texas "deserve transformational, top-to-bottom reforms that amount to more than Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid" and called on state leaders to revamp the system to meet the needs of the 21st century."Rather than celebrate the Supreme Court's decision as a victory, state leaders should heed the Court's call to do right by Texas' most at-risk students," said MALDEF Southwest Regional Counsel Marisa Bono.Similarly, the diseconomies of scale adjustments that provide additional funding for small and midsize districts are also problematic.
At the same time, the testing regimen has swallowed more and more of classroom time, and more and more of the operational budget. Yet the 84th Legislature has seen the most serious conversations yet about how – and how much – Texas should pay for its public schools. This was always going to be an education session, due to a confluence of three factors.
Thus, MALDEF urges Texas lawmakers to update this critical index.
The long overdue review and update will help ensure that Texas school districts receive the basic funding they need to attract and keep high-quality teachers and acquire updated textbooks.
A comprehensive study of Michigan districts indicates that the most cost-effective size is about 2,900 students, suggesting that Texas’ funding system overestimates the cost savings of its larger districts while providing additional funding to others based on non-existent or exaggerated disadvantages related to scale.
As a result of these adjustments, there were a total of 223 different basic allotments for 1,019 districts in 2014–15, and students with identical needs often receive varying levels of financial support.