* Although the state constitution requires public funding for education, it does not require that educational services be delivered by school districts, nor any other public entity.
* In Texas public schools, academic research shows no relationship between spending levels and student achievement levels.
* Only 78.9% of high school students in Texas’ public schools graduated 4 years after they began high school.
* Although student scores have improved on state tests, scores have remained relatively flat on nationally normed tests, such as the SAT & ACT, over the past several decades.
* The “Instructional Spending” category accounts for the largest section of the education budget: 57% in 2012-13, and is a very broad category including items such as teacher salaries, classroom supplies, vehicles used for instructional purposes, and all costs associated with these items.
* No adequate financial accountability system is in place, to accurately determine how billions of dollars are allocated, from a production management point of view.
* It is impossible to know if current funding levels are either equitable or adequate because no one can determine if available resources are being allocated in effective and productive manners to achieve the intended result.
* Mark Hurley, a Dallas venture capitalist, testified in the school finance trial that if a publicly traded company were to report its finances the way our schools do, then the executives would be subject to both criminal and civil penalties.
* Chapter 21 of the education code forces districts to allocate resources in less efficient manners than they could if allowed to make local choices.
* The Cost of Education Index is based on 1989 data and woefully out of date. It acts as a multiplier for all formula funding and therefore allocates hundreds of millions of dollars inaccurately and inefficiently.
* Investments in new facilities have outpaced enrollment in recent years, signaling inefficiency. According to the Comptroller’s Office, debt service rose by 103% while enrollment grew by 19%.
* Commission an independent third party to study the efficiency and productivity of K-12 education.
* Enact comprehensive school choice legislation, allowing money to follow a child, rather than institutions.
* Redefine the state’s responsibility for education under the Constitution.
* Revamp the financial accountability system so that decision makers have better access to meaningful data to maximize value in the allocation of limited resources.
* Review all state mandates and remove those which drive inefficiency.
* Sunset Chapter 21 of the Education Code.
* Update the Cost of Education Index and establish a mechanism to assure it is perpetually updated to accurately allocate scarce resources without waste.