The outlook on Texas education is depressing
It is no secret that with the current economic climate, state funding for education is being slashed across the board.
The Houston Independent School District trustees voted to cut 277 jobs to help ease the strain the expected decrease in funding will cause, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.
It has also been reported that trustee Mike Lunceford suggested cutting the salary of those who earn more than $100,000 a year in order to further cut spending.
However, the proposed cut is only 3 percent, and that doesn’t account for much — that’s only $3,000 per teacher if they’re making only a little more than the cutoff amount when it comes down to it.
Though they’re projected to save HISD about $400,000, it will likely do little in the long run, because symbolic pay cuts mean little when officials have yet to project how many teaching jobs will be lost because of the loss of state funding.
More than anything, if Texas wishes to be educationally competitive with the rest of the United States, cutting state funding and eliminating teaching jobs isn’t the way to go about doing so.
Texas is already 45th in the nation when it comes to education. If education is cut any further, we’re only going to fall lower on the list.
Why is it, then, that funding for schools is the first to go when faced with a budget crisis? HISD projects that it will also cut spending by about $275 per student in the next year to make up the deficit, according to the Chronicle.
We can’t sacrifice jobs and the quality of education if Texas is to be nationally competitive, especially when there are other programs that can be cut to account for the loss in funds. For example, when it comes to capital punishment, Texas is the busiest state, and that costs about $2 million per inmate.
If Texas is in dire need to save money, legislators should look elsewhere. The future of our state depends on education — something that has long been a core value of the Texas government.