3/3: Financing the Education of Future Employees
The formula the state of Texas uses to fund its public school system has previously been the subject of litigation and school finance reform is again expected to be a major topic in the next legislative session. Page Principal Wendy Heger is closely tracking the debate and just attended a stakeholder discussion intended to gain consensus. She shared three takeaways:
- Texas ranks 43rd in the US in per-student public school funding. Well-funded schools – and districts - are better able to attract and retain high-quality teachers. Students in well-funded schools have access to greater enrichment opportunities. Employers like Page need educated future team members so they should be actively involved in the search for an equitable solution.
- The current recapture system (known as Robin Hood) originally recovered funds from 35 districts, but now diverts billions of dollars away from education from over 300 districts to the State’s General Fund. Spending on education has declined in the last decade, despite higher populations, needs and standards. This also affects Pagers who are parents across the firm’s Texas offices.
- The school funding formula in Texas is complex, and the system’s economic adjustment tool is antiquated. However, it is possible to make gradual improvement, and there are options for devoting additional funding. Commitment will be needed to identify and implement a new process.
Wendy Heger, Page Principal