Teach For America grants

In other education and budget news, there’s this.

Texas lawmakers have ordered a study of Teach for America to help determine if the Peace Corps-like program, which recruits top college graduates to work in needy schools, is worth the state’s $8 million investment.

The evaluation, due to the Legislature by Jan. 31, could serve as a key discussion piece as lawmakers debate how to slash the state’s budget, with a shortfall estimated to top $20 billion.

There’s not much to say about this. The study is expected to be favorable to TFA, and no one quoted in the story argued against the grants per se, they just expressed concerns about how much bang is gotten for the buck in these tight times. To me, it’s all about the numbers. In the context of a $20 billion (or more) shortfall, $8 million doesn’t even qualify as chump change. Eight million is to 20 billion as four pennies are to a $100 bill. I guess you can say every little bit adds up, I’m just saying you’d need a hell of a lot of these little bits to add up to something meaningful. And in the meantime, while you’re talking about these little bits, you’re not talking about the really big cuts you’re going to have to make if you truly intend to close that gap without increasing revenues.

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