Day: <span>March 19, 2015</span>

Understand it — money does matter

Some people may not get it, or maybe they just refuse to acknowledge it, but when it comes to educational quality, money counts.

Rob Eissler didn’t seem to get it four years ago when, as chairman of the House Public Education Committee, he voted to cut $5.4 billion from public school budgets. That cost 11,000 teaching jobs, forced cuts in critical pre-K programs and crammed thousands of students into overcrowded, under-equipped classrooms, harming the learning environment for many children.

Education spending in Texas is now recovering, thanks in large part to local property taxes and rising property values, but Texas still has a long way to go. We still rank in the lower third among the states in per-student funding.

Eissler is a lobbyist, not a legislator, now, but he is still missing the boat.

“It is not how much you spend, but how well you spend it,” he told The Dallas Morning News.

In truth, educational quality is affected by how much you spend AND how well you spend it. And, as a state judge ruled last year, the Legislature is still failing its constitutional duty on both counts.