Basketball Tonight and Educational Spending

Tonight, the High School boys travel to Dallas Faith Family. The JV game is scheduled to start at 4:30. The boys only have one district game left after tonight.

There are and have been reports in the media where some people have claimed that the state of Texas has doubled the spending on public education over the last decade. These claims are easy to make because most people do not have the information readily available to examine the accuracies of such claims. A piece of evidence was introduced in the school finance trial that addresses this issue. Moreover, this evidence was not produced by the plaintiff school districts but was actually a product of information provided by the Legislative Budget Board, the Texas Education Agency, and the Department of Commerce.

The chart below shows the amount spent on education in Texas from 2004 to 2013. In the line graph, the dollar figures have been adjusted to account for inflation. While it is true that since 2004, the amount spent on education has increased, over the last few years, the amount has been relatively flat. As the chart shows, in the years between 2004 and 2007, local revenue (mostly property taxes) accounted for more education revenue than from the state. With changes in the school finance system, local property taxes were lowered and the state, by design, was supposed to pick up a larger portion of the overall cost of education. The 2013 projections show that the local funds are again beginning to approach the amount that the state is providing to school districts. One other point that needs to be considered is that over the period covered by the graph, the number of students in state increased from about 4.3 million to around 5 million.

As I have stated many times, I do not think that it is reasonable or fair to ask the property owners of EISD to increase the amount of their taxes just to get to the point of state aid that is being provided to other districts. I believe that the recent ruling by Judge Dietz has shown similar conclusions. It is important for everyone to know the true numbers about school finance.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

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