HOUSTON, Jan. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas' 82nd Legislature cut spending on public education in the 2010-2011 school year by $5.4 billion. Although the dollar amount of the cuts has been widely discussed, comprehensive information on how the cuts affected school districts and the impact these cuts had on Texas students is lacking.
During the last year, CHILDREN AT RISK conducted a comprehensive research study to provide an objective assessment of the impact of state budget cuts on Texas' schools and students. Every school district in Texas was given the opportunity to report on the impact of the budget cuts, and those districts that responded account for 65% of student enrollment in the state.
Research priority areas included the impact of state budget cuts on average class size, pre-k and staffing. Findings provide valuable data that offers insight into how school districts were forced to "make do" with the loss of state funding. Key trends and findings include:
- Many districts wanted to avoid teacher layoffs at all costs. However, payroll expenses make up the bulk (80%) of school district spending. Consequently, most districts were unable to avoid a reduction in teaching staff.
- Average class sizes increased at the elementary and secondary levels.
- Despite extensive research demonstrating the importance of early education, districts reported changes to their pre-k programs.
Dr. Bob Sanborn, president and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK commented, "The research we've conducted in the last year clearly demonstrates state budget cuts have hampered school districts ability to deliver a high quality education. We are at a crossroads for public education in Texas and our State Legislature must provide leadership to reverse the impact of these cuts."
In an effort to arm parents with unbiased, nonpartisan data CHILDREN AT RISK has created a guide designed to educate parents on the impact of the funding shortfalls. What You Need to Know - A Parent's Guide to the Impact of the Public Education Budget Cuts is available to the general public, state legislators and education stakeholders at www.childrenatrisk.org.
Media Contact: Rashena Lindsay Flagg, 713.301.4577
SOURCE CHILDREN AT RISK