We keep hearing how broke school districts are and now, we hear that there isn’t even enough money to implement new testing effectively.

I bet many of you don’t remember that STARR tests are the embodiment of the end-of-course exams various members of the school lobby pushed as a replacement for TAKS. Likely fewer remember that I said that once TAKS was gone and the new tests were on the way, we’d be treated to the same horror stories in the press about how unfair it all is.

Now even the Texas education commissioner is whining about the tests and money but, he and the school lobby are not doing much whining about the misdirection of funds in district after district toward items that are not central to the provision of a quality education.

Each week in my press review I run across many new school district spending programs focused on things outside the classroom. This week began with a story out of Snyder which explains that Snyder ISD has approved the spending of more than three and a half million dollars for new home grandstands and a press box at its football stadium – hardly central to quality classroom instruction, or even to how players play the game on the field.

The money keeps flowing out and schools keep suing you for more of your money as there is no end to the list of fun things each would like to spend your money upon.

If three point six million were invested very conservatively by Snyder ISD, the district could earn enough money to employ three top teachers, for decades to come, with no further cost to taxpayers. Instead, they’ve chosen to focus resources on nice stands for football stadium bleachers for a handful of games each year.

There is a priority problem in Texas public education.

Pratt on Texas

Robert Pratt has been active in Texas Republican politics since the Reagan re-elect in 1984. He has served as Lubbock County Republican chairman, and in 2006 founded the Pratt on Texas radio network, providing the news and commentary of Texas on both radio and podcast. Learn more at www.PrattonTexas.com.