News from Dr. Cruz: Funding of Public Education
Sept. 2, 2014
Three years ago, AISD joined hundreds of other Texas school districts in a lawsuit challenging our state’s system of funding public education. Last week, Judge John Dietz ruled in our favor by finding that the current school finance system violates the Texas Constitution because it does not provide enough money to educate all Texas students adequately.
Additional resources are needed to attract and retain the best teachers, keep class sizes manageable, fund quality Pre-K programs, and otherwise fund our schools in a manner consistent with the state’s standards and expectations.
Many people believe higher property taxes in Austin mean more money for our district. However, AISD is considered a property-wealthy district, and as a result, this year we will be required to send $175 million in local property taxes to the state. Since 2002, AISD taxpayers have sent $1.66 billion to the state treasury. In 2018, AISD taxpayers will send more than $300 million to the state treasury. Moreover, the revenue we receive back from the state has been relatively flat, while our expenses continue to rise.
Thanks to you, our district is doing a good job of educating our students and preparing them for college and/or a career. Increased standards and an emphasis on post-secondary readiness for all students are the right goals, but we must have additional resources to provide the interventions and individualized attention our students need in order to succeed.
Paul Cruz, Ph.D.