COVID-19 has disrupted the education of millions of Texas students, perhaps for a generation. Our public education system needs to continue moving toward a student-centered funding model in order to address the magnitude of this crisis.

Key points:

  • The recent pandemic has highlighted flaws in our education system’s focus on “seat time” as a method for organizing school funding and structure rather than student outcomes.
  • In times when students cannot always physically attend school, we need better measures of education progress and quality.
  • The school finance commission paved the way for a stronger focus on student outcomes; prioritizing student competency over student presence is the next step in creating a student-centric, outcomes-focused system.
  • Other states, such as New Hampshire and Idaho, have begun to incorporate competency-based education more thoroughly into their education models.
  • Texas has begun encouraging competency-based instruction in subject areas such as math, but more remains to be done. Career and technical education courses of study could especially benefit from flexibility.