Texas-Sized Education Spending

I came across some disturbing information this week.

The state of Texas (where I live) ranks somewhere between 42nd and 48th in the nation for spending per pupil. To give some perspective, Texas spent $8,671per pupil in 2011. On the other hand, New York, the top spender in the nation, spent $19,076 per pupil.

Okay, Texas doesn’t spend a lot. Does it need to? Well it turns out we’re third LOWEST when it comes to the percent of the adult population with a high school diploma. Hmm, that’s a bit concerning.

Oh, but we are third HIGHEST in over all education spending at $52.5 billion. Say what? How can that be? Oh, because Texas educates roughly 10% of the ENTIRE public school population.

So not only are we spending one of the smallest amounts per student, but the impact is affecting a significant chunk of our nation’s children.

Here’s hoping the current case going through the courts with regards to Texas’ public school financing forces our legislators to make some serious changes.

To make matters worse, many teachers in Texas would like to quit, about 46.7% of them! They don’t feel like they can however, because many are their family’s breadwinner. However, they aren’t earning enough money. In fact 40% of teachers surveyed have a second job during the school year to make ends meet. Not surprisingly this number goes up to 56% in the summers. They admit they might be more prepared for their classes if they didn’t have to work a second job, but they can’t afford not to.

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