02.23.12

Oops, he did it again! Perry makes mistake on per student funding in Texas

Posted in Around The State, Education, Public Schools, Right Wing Lies at 1:12 pm by wcnews

Via Clay Robison at Grading Texas, Like his policies, Perry’s education figures are wrong.

“We’re still spending approximately $10,000 per student in Texas,” he claimed.

Actually, Texas spent $9,446 per student in 2010-11, according to new state education rankings from the National Education Association (NEA). And, NEA estimated, that amount plummeted to $8,908 per student (a decrease of $538) during the current 2011-12 school year, which absorbed the initial impact of $5.4 billion in education cuts approved by Perry and the legislative majority last spring.

These figures are based on average daily attendance (ADA), the standard by which school districts receive state aid. The national average for ADA expenditures for 2010-11 was $11,305. Texas ranked 41st among the states then and is probably even lower now, because while Texas’ average was dropping, the national average was rising to $11,463 for 2011-12. Texas is now more than $2,500 per student below the national average in ADA spending.

If you calculate the per student expenditures on enrollment, Texas fares even more poorly. On that basis, Texas spent $8,751 per student in 2010-11, ranking 42nd. The national average was $10,770. And, according to NEA, Texas’ per enrollee expenditure dropped to $8,265 (a $486 decrease) in 2011-12. The national average, meanwhile, rose to $10,976.

Guess what, folks? Those expenditures, either way you calculate them, are going to drop even more for 2012-13, unless the governor and the legislative majority heed TSTA’s call to stop the bleeding now. There is more than $7 billion of taxpayers’ money sitting in the bank in the Rainy Day Fund, doing nobody any good. It is time for the governor to call the Legislature into special session and spend $2.5 billion of that amount to restore the budget cuts for 2012-13. The economy is improving, and the fund will continue to replenish itself, leaving enough money for other state emergencies.

Perry, who hints at another reelection race in 2014 or even another presidential campaign in 2016, apparently feels the need to rehabilitate his political reputation following his recent, embarrassing presidential stumble-thon. He should start by repairing some of the damage he has inflicted on our schools.

If Perry’s presidential run taught Texans anything, hopefully it’s that Gov. Perry likes to play “fast and loose” with facts, and hopes the media won’t hold him to account. Let’s hope that’s finally changing. Kuff has more.

Remember, that’s with $7.3 billion currently in the Rainy Day Fund, and more likely to come in as the economy improves. This is what they do. You want something different, you need a different Legislature.

By the way, Perry’s claim that we spend $10,000 per student is a flat-out lie. Perry’s not the only one who’s been lying about how much we spend on public education. They may be proud of what they’ve done, but that doesn’t mean they want you to think too much about it.

It’s time to re-fund public education in Texas.

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