Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Local News

February 7, 2013

Community event parallels recent landmark school funding decision

(Continued)

In the wake of the 2011 school funding cutbacks, Lesley and Ethridge said Waco ISD shuttered nine campuses.

Lesley said Texas ranks 49th in funding public education, spending one dollar more than 50th ranked Nevada.

“Can you think of anything else Texas is willing to be below average on?” she asked.

Texas funds its public schools, on average, $3,000 below the national per-child average, she added.

In addition, the state froze its target revenue system “in order to shield wealthy districts from having to cut their budgets,” Lesley said, adding that they also froze the tax rates.

To illustrate these points, she showed citizens a slide of maintenance-and-operations revenue for each of Palo Pinto County's public schools for 2011-12 in comparison to the state average and the weighted average of one of the highest funded Texas districts.

Lesley's graph showed MWISD at the lowest end, with $5,385 per weighted student, while the state average sat in the middle, with $5,976 per weighted student. The overall county average was $6,391 per student and Palo Pinto ISD, with $8,256 per weighted student, topped the county districts in average per-weighted-student revenue. She added Crane ISD (south of Monahans and Odessa) is funded at $10,142 per weighted student.

“Disparity was the big thing the lawsuit was about,” Lesley pointed out.

This translates to taxpayers, she said of the disparity. For example, she cited that taxpayers in Waco ISD pay $1.04 per $100 taxable property value, while Glen Rose ISD taxes at 82 cents per $100 valuation, because the state allocation for Glen Rose is greater.

The system is set up inequitably, she said, when the state does things like excuse wealthy districts from contributing more, freezes tax rates and cuts off the top the $5.4 billion.

“No other state has ever made that kind of [cut to public education] and Texas certainly can't sustain it,” she told a few audience members after the forum. “So the pot keeps shrinking and yet we are growing by 80,000 new kids a year. And, sometimes inconveniently, those 80,000 kids end up in districts, like Mineral Wells, [more] than they do in, say, in Dallas, which has more money.”

Text Only
Local News
Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read