Schools Need Strategic Spending, Smart Accountability

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This dynamic will shape this year’s session, creating tension in two distinct ways. It will spark friction between school organizations and those, such as Gov. Rick Perry, who think schools have enough money. And it will create a rub between education groups and those, such as Bill Hammond of the Texas Association of Business, who don’t want the state to water down its accountability system.

The lines are drawn, but there is a way out of this. Here’s a way both sides can win:

School spending: Superintendents are right. Legislators can’t expect campuses to meet the state’s standards for schools without restoring some funds. Sure, they may cope for a year or two with the $5.4 billion in cuts lawmakers dished out two years ago. But they cannot absorb such a hit over time, not with a student population across Texas that is largely low-income and Latino. Children from poverty and immigrant families present educators a twin challenge.

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