Sunday, May 19, 2024
Ignorant Texas GOP education agenda.

Ignorant Texas GOP education agenda.

Underfunded Public Education in Texas: A Failure by Design

For years, Texas Republicans have underfunded public education while pointing fingers at property tax relief, underpaid teachers, and Black and Brown communities, or simply avoiding the topic altogether. However, underfunding has now caused the failures of the Texas Education Agency to show. In 2018, the agency was placed under federal oversight due to its failings regarding special education. Despite this, Governor Greg Abbott has turned to the Republican’s trusted distracted dance, including blaming teachers in diverse cities and pushing for vouchers, which would harm public schools more than they would help.

Republican Failures, TEA Takeovers, and Privatization

In November 2023, Texas voters elected four new trustees to the Democratic-run Austin Independent School District (AISD), which had been struggling due to staffing shortages and the underfunding of special education by close to $80 million annually. However, in March 2023, the TEA recommended conservatorship over the AISD, similarly to the 2019 TEA takeover of the Houston Independent School District (HISD). Civil and racial rights advocates blasted the HISD takeover, which was seen as about political control rather than public education. Governor Abbott has continued his strategy, despite the failures of the TEA, with his focus on pushing vouchers and blaming teachers instead of increasing funding for public education.

Vouchers vs. Public Education Funding

The current proposals being considered by Texas lawmakers would give families who enroll their children in private or parochial schools $8,000 per student, per year to cover tuition and other related expenses. This amount is significantly more than the basic allotment of $6,160 per student for public schools in Texas. Both Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick are in favor of vouchers, leaving only the Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan as a question mark. While Phelan generally supports right-wing agenda items, some rural Republicans may force his hand into a fight.

The Simple Solution: Funding

The solution to most public education problems is simple: funding. However, Texas Republicans continue to prioritize the two-step dance of blaming teachers and pushing for vouchers instead of improving public education through increased funding. With the growing issues of sexual assault problems for Texas Republicans and other issues that plague the state, they turn to what they are most familiar with for answers – the ole’ culture war two-step.


About Casper Wong

Casper Wong is an experienced blogger who specializes in education and career development. His blog posts are a valuable resource for individuals seeking guidance on how to succeed in their academic and professional pursuits. With a wealth of knowledge and insights, Casper empowers his readers to reach their full potential and achieve their career goals. Follow him to discover the keys to lifelong learning and career success.

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