Reference Information on Fair Funding for the Common Good

Court Rules: Texas School Funding Must Serve All Students Equitably
The ruling on February 4, 2013, by the Texas District Court, Judge John Dietz presiding, that the Texas school finance system as currently constructed violates the Texas Constitution affirms what communities and educators have known for years. Our state clearly is not providing the resources necessary to educate all children to the high levels that are needed in the 21st century. Consonant with the ruling of the district court, IDRA calls for the following: The time for increased and equitable funding is now – What is needed are critical resources, not more time; Special population funding increases are required; Target revenue and hold-harmless funding should be ended with no more phasing out; Public funding must be reserved for public schools; and Facilities funding priority should be given to public schools. See the statement by Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA President and CEO and related resources.

White Paper: The Cost of Inequity in Education
This literature review looks at the policy-related research regarding education and the cost of inequity. Research has established that the benefits of providing additional schooling for a greater percentage of students far outweigh the additional expenses that are associated with keeping more students enrolled all the way to graduation from high school and college. This white paper provides a brief background and then looks at the following topics: non-separate, but still unequal; expanding expectations for all schools and all students; access to higher education; economic payoff of high school and college diplomas; the additional costs associated with graduating more students from high school and college; recognition of the non-education based cost of education inequity; and other cost savings correlated with increased levels of educational attainment. It closes with a summary, conclusions and related policy implications.

IDRA Presents Expert Testimony in School Finance Trial
More than half of the school districts in Texas – representing three-fourths of the students – have sued the state for its failure to provide sufficient and equitable funding to ensure all students graduate prepared for college and career. IDRA’s director of policy, Dr. Albert Cortez is presenting expert testimony today. One of IDRA’s findings is that Texas’ richest districts have over $35,000 more to spend per classroom on teachers, books, etc., than our poorest districts. IDRA has created a dashboard to collect news about the Texas school finance trial for easy access for parents, school folk & communities. You can see the latest news stories, live tweets, images, etc.

See the slides from Dr. Albert Cortez’s testimony on December 3, 2012, in the school finance trial.

See the IDRA’s initial report, “the Extent of Equity in the Texas School Finance System and Its Impact on Selected Student Related Issues.”

Fair Funding Now! for Texas Education
In 2011, the Texas legislature cut education funding for the first time in four decades. Instead of ending funding disparities, they walked away – pushing millions of Texas children aside. But communities across the state are taking action to make sure that schools are equipped to guarantee that all children graduate ready for college and career. Get tools, handouts, news and more resources at IDRA’s Courageous Connections – Fair Funding Now! website.

Neeley vs. West Orange-Cove Learn more about the Texas Supreme Court ruling and how it affects your schools.

FAQs Frequently asked questions about school funding

Glossary – Quick definitions to help you know the issue

More Resources from Across the Country
Around the country cuts to core educational programs have already been made since 2008. Even deeper cuts are on the way unless we can make clear that education is a staple, not a frill. This issue of IDRA’s Grad4All considers what cuts like these mean for students, families and schools; highlights how people are speaking out and urges everyone to promote education as a priority. (Also available in Spanish.)

Perspectives on Funding Changes Adopted in 2009
See our online flip-book, School Finance Reform in Texas – IDRA Perspectives on Funding Changes Adopted by the 2009 Texas Legislature.