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Expert: $8 billion needed for Texas students to meet new standards

Texas will need to spend an additional $8 billion annually in order for its students to meet the state’s new college and career-readiness standards, school funding expert and educational consultant Lynn Moak testified on Monday, the Huffington Post reports.  Moak’s testimony to state District Judge John Dietz is part of an ongoing lawsuit brought by two-thirds of Texas public school districts that alleges the state’s current school finance system is unfair, inadequate and unconstitutional.  According to Moak, 47 percent of Texas’ ninth graders — about 150,000 — failed at least one of the state’s more rigorous standardized tests, known as STAAR, last school year, meaning they are not on track to graduate. That number is closer to 60 percent among low-income students, the Associated Press reports. In addition to restoring the $2.5 billion lawmakers cut from Texas public schools last year, Moak estimates an additional $6 billion is necessary to help students — particularly low-income and English-language learners — catch up and ultimately pass, according to the Austin American-Statesman…

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