Would school funding equity make for better schools, rural, urban and suburban? Let’s read comments made in a feature story from Abilene’s KTAB in which State Rep. Susan King and former big-spending Clyde ISD superintendent Gail Haterius push school funding equity.
“We’re all paying the same taxes, but they’re not getting the same amount of money to educate their children,” said Dr. Gail Haterius forgetting that we’re not all paying the same taxes. ISD taxes differ greatly when you add local spending on facilities.
“I don’t think it’s a fair system and it affects all types of school districts. I think we have to look again at the target revenue, pull that back, and try to go back to a more equitable system, if it’s possible,” Representative Susan King said. She added that eliminating a difference in funding would create a more equitable system. “Quite frankly we’re in the minority being from small towns in rural Texas. But overall if Robin Hood was removed, there would be equity more across the board,” explained King.
It was the school lobby that pushed for Robin Hood, and its later versions, as a method of creating better so-called equity, the very thing that King, Haterius and others are upset about. From the beginning that equity mechanism has been blamed for a lack of equity. As an aside, maybe that’s evidence that the school lobby should be completely ignored by the Legislature when shaping funding mechanisms.
Big spending Haterius trotted out the sounds-good-but-means-little line: “I think everybody needs the same chance to provide the best education we can for all the kids in the state of Texas. That’s just where my heart is.”
This all goes back the early 1970’s and then to the Edgewood case filed in 1984. And, the only solution, the only way to have the equity these folk seek, is have a unified, zero local control, state school system dominated by the urban vote. That system will then invite lawsuits over facility inequities so we’ll end up with every school having to have the same facilities and it won’t be a standard set at the top but rather, at the bottom. Will this make for better Texas schools?
Rep. King, Haterious and others may not realize it but, that’s where they’re pushing us – all the while wanting more local control.
© 2011 Pratt on Texas