Texas Ed: Comments on Education from Texas

January 21, 2007

HB 616: Equality in vanity license plates?

Filed under: Education Finance, Texas — texased @ 7:28 pm

80(R) HB 616 – Introduced version – Bill Text:

�������Sec.�504.6155.��SUPPORT COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS LICENSE PLATES. �(a) �The department shall issue specialty license plates that include the words “I support (insert name of county) County public schools.” �The department shall design the license plates in consultation with the applicable county.
�������(b)��After deduction of the department’s administrative costs, the remainder of the fee for issuance of the license plates shall be sent to the Texas Education Agency for distribution to the school districts in the county designated on the license plates based on the average daily attendance of the school districts as determined under Section 42.005, Education Code.

This shows what is wrong with the Texas school finance system in so many ways. School funding is not done at the county level but at the school district level. You don’t support Bexar County schools, you support Northside, Judson, or Alamo Height schools.

At best.

Because what you really support is your local school, whether it’s the athletic boosters club, band, or honor society. You want your money to go to your school, not some school in South San Antonio. This is probably even more true in rural areas where you want to be supporting Floresville schools rather than Poth schools. No one is going to want to say “I support schools in Wilson County.”

So why not allow people to purchase licence plates for specific school districts if not schools? Hmmmm, could it be that it would just be a way for wealthy people to help already well-off districts? At least this way, some of the wealth gets spread around to some of the needy districts.

Wait a minute. This sounds familiar…maybe like the Robin Hood school finance plan?

Now I’m not arguing for or against Robin Hood. I do think that it’s pretty sad that our education finance system is so screwed up that it’s actually reflected in vanity license plates.

2 Comments »

  1. What is the fairest way to do it? So everyone can have a good school.

    Comment by frecklescassie — January 21, 2007 @ 7:33 pm

  2. Geeze, I thought as a blogger I just get to criticize without having to come up with a better way…

    I don’t know what would be the fairest way but I seriously doubt that we will get there unless we’re willing to change about how we think about education. The one idea I’ve heard so far that I liked has all the funding originate with state and then follow the student to any school, public or private. To make sure that “high risk” students are not dumped in local, poor schools, they would have even more money following them to make them more attractive. This would also account for the extra resources the school would need to have them meet standards.

    Of course, I can just see it now, everyone would be trying to get their kids classified in this “neediest” category. You would also have the problem of testing and accountability. If a private school takes public money, they would have to meet certain requirements. And I don’t think homeschoolers should just get the cash handed to them. If they do receive any, they would have to meet the same accountability standards as the private schools.

    Like I said, it would take a change in thinking. I used to be totally anti-private school voucher and I still am under the current situation. Why allow a parent to send their child to a school that does not have to meet any standards because the local public school failed to meet standards?

    However, I have been thinking that we aren’t nearly as rabidly anti-public money going to private schools at the college level. You can get a student loan, pell grants, and other financial aid and still attend a private college. I know that colleges that accept federal financial aid have to meet certain accreditation requirements and so on but it is a working alternative to our current public school system.

    Comment by texased — January 22, 2007 @ 9:59 pm


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: