Members of the 84th Texas Legislature who are stressing accountability without equity are being comical at best and disingenuous at worst.
Hold schools accountable, close failing schools, and demand measures of student academic progress.
But don’t also fail to recognize and address the impact of current per pupil funding inequity.
According to Dr. Wayne Pierce of the Equity Center the per pupil funding gap between the richest 100 districts and the poorest 100 districts is equal to $2,641 per weighted average daily attendance (WADA). This inequity results in approximately 91,000 fewer dollars per typical elementary classroom for the 100 poorest districts (source: 15th Annual School Finance and Legislative Workshop presentation Jan 23, 2015.)
How does anyone think it is acceptable for this to disparity to continue without a planned attempt at mitigation? Why are the students of one district worth less than those of another, or suddenly worth more when they transfer to a neighboring school system? This is not a call for more funding but rather a call for at least a move to equitable funding.
In support of stronger accountability, many have suggested schools be required to place A-F letter grades for academic performance on their campus marquees. Let’s take it a step further and also require schools to place their per pupil revenue numbers on their marquees as well.
Parents deserve to know how well their schools are performing academically, but they equally deserve to know how inequitably they are being funded.
Accountability without equity is hilarity.