Without Fair Funding, Most Texas Schools Struggle to Succeed
State Has Backed Away from Fair Funding of Schools

“Children are ready to learn. We need to make sure that our schools are ready to receive them and educate them well.”
— Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA President & CEO

San Antonio
(December 2, 2009) – Disparities in per student funding have doubled in
Texas , leaving millions of children in schools with severely limited resources for qualified teachers, up-to-date curriculum and basic supplies. The Intercultural Development Research Association released a policy update today on the status of education funding equity in Texas

“It is not possible to have an excellent education for all students if we don’t have fair funding,” stated Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA President.
was headed in the right direction until the last two legislative sessions when revisions made to the school funding plan eroded equity among
Texas schools. The Status of School Finance Equity in Texas – A 2009 Update identifies changes that are needed. These include:

  • Use and update the existing state equalized funding system.
  • Eliminate the use of hold harmless adjustments to funding that counteract fair funding features.
  • Eliminate local unequalized enrichment that enables a few districts to severely outspend their neighbors.
  • Provide increased funding that covers the actual costs of serving special populations.
  • Provide predictable and sustainable state funding for school instructional facilities.
  • Ensure excellence rather than settling for adequate.

Fair funding of schools means that a child’s education – and thus his or her life chances – do not depend on the color of his or her skin or the neighborhood in which he or she happens to live. We know that it is possible because
Texas has had a more equitable system of education funding before. In fact, the improvement in
student achievement on national tests in 2008 was fueled in part by the 12-year span of improved and equitable funding that was provided to all
Texas schools.

“Neglecting to provide an equitable and excellent education for all of the children in the state will lead to an empty future for us all,” stated Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, IDRA President. “We must invest in providing the funding needed to ensure that an excellent education is available to all students, rather than just to a small percentage of our children.”

The Status of School Finance Equity in Texas – A 2009 Update and related news are available free online at: http://www.idra.org/education-policy/.

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Contact: Christie L. Goodman , APR, at IDRA, 210-444-1710; christie.goodman@idra.org