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……Read More
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Districts file third suit against state over school funding
A third group of Texas schools filed suit against the state Tuesday over education funding, alleging that the system of financing public education is inadequate and unfair to low-income and English-learning students, the Huffington Post reports. One more lawsuit against the state is expected from another portion of Texas’ more than 1,100 school districts. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the suit on behalf of four Texas school districts and three parents, alleging that the current state system of using property taxes for more than half of public school funding is unfair. The method creates a revenue and funding gap between schools zoned to higher-income neighborhoods and those in lower-income communities — a gap as large as $1,000 per student, MALDEF Southwest Regional Counsel David Hinojosa said at a news conference, KSAT reports……Read More
Texans duel over millions in school funding
As Texas schools scrounge for cash to buy supplies and threaten to lay off teachers, $830 million in education funding earmarked for the state is sitting at the federal Department of Education, reports the Wall Street Journal. The money, part of the stimulus package passed last year by Congress to help U.S. schools, is trapped by an increasingly hostile battle between the state’s Republican and Democratic politicians over how to use it–to the dismay of school districts facing an almost $10 billion shortfall in state aid……Read More