Worse than Arkansas?
In contrast to the image every has of us Texans, though, there is some awareness that there is a world outside of our borders. The Dallas Morning News ran an AP story about Arkansas' very similar problem:
The assembly's focus will be answering the state Supreme Court's 2005 ruling that Arkansas had not adequately funded education for the state's 450,000 students. The state faces a Dec. 1 deadline to address problems with the current funding formula.
Legislators are looking at an additional $132.5 million in funding over the next two years for the state's 251 school districts, plus a $90 million appropriation for repairing crumbling school buildings.
There is a significant difference though. In Texas, the Supreme Court warned that Texas schools were close to inadequacy but not there yet. The only aspect of the Texas system ruled unconstitutional was a statewide property tax -- and that appears to be the only thing the Texas Legislature wants to fix. Most of the Republican leadership down here has pledged whatever "fix" comes from a special session will be "revenue neutral." That is, no new money.
If you're a Texan, and you have any young children near the computer screen, please move them away because what I'm about to say is almost too horrible for even adults to consider:
If Arkansas invests in their schools and we don't, it is entirely possible that we might fall behind Arkansas. I shudder to think about it.