How We Stack Up

How does Texas school funding stack up against other states?

State rankings for school funding vary by year and methodology used, but Texas has consistently trailed most states in per pupil education spending. Texas was already ranked 45th in 2008, well before the 2011 Legislature slashed an additional  $5.4 billion from funding for public education.

These figures represent a serious slip from just a decade ago, when Texas was still ranked in the middle of the national pack at 25th and was only $281 below the national average in per pupil funding. By the 2009-10 school year, Texas per pupil funding had dropped to nearly $1400 below the national average.

Given such lack of support, it’s not surprising that Texas falls at or near the bottom in a number of important academic measures. Texas ranks among the lowest in combined SAT scores – 47th out of 50 states – and is in the bottom quarter nationally in reading proficiency. Our state currently places 43rd out of 50 in high school graduation rates and is ranked dead last for adults over the age of 25 with high school diplomas.

By any measure, Texas is losing its competitive edge – both academically and economically. Failure to make public education a top priority will have long-term consequences for our children and our future.

Texas Legislative Budget Board/Texas Fact Book:

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