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Study: Texas Hikes Per Pupil School Spend, Lags Behind Most Of U.S.

genefortexas.com; Source: Texas Legislative Budget Board

DALLAS — Texas has improved its state support for public education but still lags behind most of the nation, according to an annual report issued Wednesday. The report from the National Education Association also showed Texas ranks first nationally in the number of public school districts and second to California in enrollment.

Public school revenue per student in Texas rose from $9,909, 41st nationally, in 2012-2013 to $10,334 in 2013-2014, 39th nationally. In those same years, the national average rose from $12,090 to $12,357.

Texas school districts had to generate 49.5 percent of their revenue, ranking 15th nationally, in 2013-2014, up from 47.8 percent in 2012-2013, 18th nationally.

The national average rose from 43.8 percent locally sourced funding to 44 percent. Texas districts got 40.8 percent of their revenue from the state in 2013-204, up incrementally from 40.4 percent in 2012-13, ranking 36th nationally both years. The national average both years was 46.4 percent state-sourced revenue.

The average salary for Texas teachers rose from $48,819 in 2012-2013, 33rd nationally and 87.1 percent of the national average, to $49,690, 30th nationally and 87.8 percent of the national average.

“We are still in the bottom tier of states when it comes to the money we spend on our public school students,” Clay Robison, spokesman for the NEA-affiliated Texas State Teachers Association, told The Dallas Morning News. “This is a step in the right direction, but the Legislature can’t claim credit because a lot of this money is coming from local property taxpayers.

The Texas Supreme Court is currently considering the state’s appeal of a lower-court ruling that found the Texas school finance system unfair and insufficient.