On Wednesday, the Texas Education Agency will roll-out its first “A-F” ratings for every school district in the state of Texas. Campuses won’t receive a letter grade until 2019, but will receive a numeric score on a 0-100 scale.
The letter grades, which come out as students and families prepare to go back to school, will be issued at a time when Republicans in control of the Texas Legislature continue to underfund our local schools. Consider:
- Texas is relying more on more on rising property taxes to cover the state’s share of funding our students and local schools (Source: CPPP)
- TEA and the state of Texas need to find up to $3.2 billion to get our state’s special education services up to standards (Source: Houston Chronicle)
- Our retired teachers haven’t received a pay bump in over a decade, and Texas – which contributes less to its state pension fund than any other state – would need to identify $786 million annually in order to ensure our retired teachers get the support they deserve (Source: Austin American-Statesman)
I expect that Texas’ A-F ratings for school districts will stir up plenty of discussion about Texas’ local schools. In that conversation, we should remember what is possible — that Texas, one of the richest economies in the world, could and should be doing much more to invest in the future of our kids and our local schools.