Thursday, January 12, 2006

Robin Hood Alive and Well

The state of Texas has used a school funding system that takes money from wealthy schools and school districts, and passes the funds along to other schools. The goal is to balance school fundings so that all students have an equal opportunity for a good education. Although this is just a little socialistic, I can understand the need to adequately fund schools with low tax bases. I would have no problem if the goal were simply equality.

Unfortunately the state of Texas has gone overboard. Equality is apparently not enough. Wealthy schools must give up so much money that they end up below average with respect to school funding. I just received our annual Texas Education Agency Report Card for our school. Although the tax base for our school is well above average (median home price of school neighborhoods exceeds $250,000), our school receives only $3,951 per student. The average for our "school group" (whatever that is) is $5,067, and the average for all schools in the state of Texas is $5,323. Does anybody else find it odd that my kids are the recipients of over 20% less funding because they attend a wealthy school? Doesn't this seem to cause cries of "limited opportunity" and kids getting "failed by the system" to ring hollow? What more are Texans supposed to do to balance the scales?

It seems that even Robin Hood didn't go this far.

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