New Data Reveals the "Ripple Effect" of $5.4 Billion in Education Cuts Across the State of Texas

Research Think Tank CHILDREN AT RISK used a mix of quantitative and qualitative research methods to capture the variation and scope of the education budget cuts on non-profit organizations.

Oct 17, 2012, 08:33 ET from CHILDREN AT RISK

HOUSTON, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Non-profit organizations provide critical support services to Texas public school students. In the wake of the 82nd Texas Legislature's decision to cut $5.4 billion from the state's public education budget, many non-profits found themselves separated from a critical source of financial support.

With funding support from KDK-Harman Foundation and the Kathryn & Beau Ross Foundation, CHILDREN AT RISK conducted a mixed methods study to assess the impact of these cuts on non-profit organizations' budgetary and service delivery capacity.

The Impact of Statewide Budget Cuts on Non-Profits: No surprise, but survey respondents almost unanimously agreed the budget cuts challenged their abilities to deliver services:

  • 55% of respondents reported the 2011 legislative budget cuts directly impacted their operating budgets. Losses in state funding ranged from $10,000 - $500,000 as a result.
  • 62% of non-profit organizations reported that the 2011 legislative budget cuts to public education affected their organizations' ability to deliver services.
  • Almost 75% of non-profits noted increased competition for funding among their counter-parts during the 2011-2012 school year.
  • Many organizations found it more difficult to coordinate efforts with public school districts than in previous years.

The Non-profit Response: Non-profits responded to the budget cuts in a variety of ways, including:  

  • Increased collaboration with other non-profits
  • Operational adjustments, namely, reductions in staff positions and/or hours
  • Reduced programs, or eliminated programs from certain campuses, or entire school districts
  • Expanded fundraising efforts, and attempted to identify new potential funding resources

When asked how budget cuts have affected the students they serve, if at all, respondents agreed students are receiving fewer support services and resources, from both public schools and non-profit organizations. Approximately 25% of those respondents are particularly concerned with the decline in resources and programs for at-risk students.

A representative from Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso commented, "Texas is already one of the lowest-performing states in the country in education at all levels. Budget cuts directly affect our districts' ability to explore effective and proven practices, including innovative partnerships with non-profits to affect student success."

"Non-profits provide after school programs, tutoring, mentoring and support, which are vital services to our children across the state," said Dr. Bob Sanborn, president & CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK. "It is imperative we monitor their ability to provide quality and meaningful interventions, to school aged children. The data is clear; school districts were tremendously impacted by the budget cuts in 2011, as were the non-profits they work with."


CHILDREN AT RISK is a non-profit organization leading the way to improving the quality of life for Texas' children through research, collaboration, and advocacy. CHILDREN AT RISK educates the community and public officials based on its groundbreaking research which tracks children's health, safety, education, and economic conditions. By understanding children's needs and speaking out on their behalf, CHILDREN AT RISK drives change. Visit us at, or on Facebook and Twitter to learn more.

Media Contact: Rashena Lindsay Flagg, 713.301.4577