April 07, 2006
What about that surplus again?

Hey, you know that budget surplus we've got and how it's being eyed by some people as a solution to the property tax problem and the school finance lawsuit. Eye on Williamson points to a couple of articles that explain why maybe that's not such a hot idea.

In related news, this Statesman editorial is a good starting point to understand why the "65% rule" that Governor Perry imposed on schools last year is a meaningless political gesture. Why, you ask?

Philosophy aside, a Standard & Poor's analysis of a 65 percent direct spending requirement casts doubt on its effectiveness. Analyzing data in Texas and eight other states considering a 65 percent classroom spending requirement, the credit-rating agency found no significant positive correlation between the percentage of funds that districts spend on instruction and the percentage of students who score proficient or higher on state reading and math tests.

"Interestingly, some of the highest-performing districts spend less than 65 percent, and some of the lowest-performing districts spend more than 65 percent," the Standard & Poor's report concluded. "Student performance does not noticeably or consistently increase at 65 percent, or any other percentage spent on instruction."

There's more to it than that, but you get the idea. Check it out. Link via The Texas Whip.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 07, 2006 to Budget ballyhoo | TrackBack

It makes sense that there would be little correlation between a 65% mandate and student performance because, well...there's very little correlation between spending levels and student performance, *period*.

Posted by: Tim on April 7, 2006 9:03 AM