Texas is lagging nationally and globally in our duty to equip our youngest citizens to lead us into a prosperous and positive future.
Less than 1 percent of new jobs created between 2010 and 2016 went to people with a high school education or less (Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. “America’s Divided Recovery: College Haves and Have-Nots.”). In Texas we have a mere 24% post-secondary completion rate at a two or four year institute within six years of high school graduation.
Where do we find the money?
Currently, Texas' $10B "rainy day fund" is uninvested and, until last year, didn't even earn enough interest to keep pace with inflation. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar compares this strategy to burying the money in a hole on the Capitol lawn.
Hegar has proposed that a portion of the rainy day fund, $3 billion, be diverted into a separate pool with an aggressive investment strategy, which could generate revenue almost immediately. With additional biennial investments, within 10 years the endowment fund could pump out $1 billion a year to help pay for state priorities like education.
EQUITY: Texas needs to invest most where the need is greatest
1. Our students of color are disproportionately impacted by conditions of concentrated poverty and continued disparities in resource allocations.
For children from low-income families, increasing per-pupil spending yields large improvements in educational attainment, wages, family income, and reductions in the annual incidence of adult poverty. In fact, a 25 percent spending increase over all school age years is sufficiently large to eliminate the attainment gaps between children from low- and high-income families.
Where should we invest?
Texas Education Agency recommends several, research-based, promising practices worth exploring:
• Comprehensive Teacher Quality & Placement Initiatives
• Focused Instructional Leadership Initiatives
• Quality Early Learning Programs
• High Quality, Vetted Instructional Materials (Blended & Traditional)
• Increased Summer Learning Opportunities
• School Systems transforming into Systems of Great Schools