Keep our Teachers, Cut the Waste
by Fernando Trevino on March 15, 2011 at 12:36 PM
In these lean budgetary times, Texas schools, and more specifically Texas teachers, are being targeted to balance our state’s budget, but does it have to be this way? The more than 1,000 school districts in the state of Texas are so large that if they were a single company they would be the world’s fifth largest employer, so in a way it is no wonder that they are expected to take drastic cuts during this next biennium; not to mention, education spending consists of 60 percent of the state budget.
However, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, a conservative non-profit advocacy group in Texas, believes that there are ways to responsibly make cuts to education and protect the classroom without sacrificing Texas teachers or putting students at a disadvantage. The problem with public education right now is that there is too much administration and thus administrative costs. Isn’t the point of education to educate? And doesn’t that mean the focus of schools should be on teachers and the classroom?
Common sense seems to evade anything that is run by government; and rather than focus on teachers, Texas school districts have a teacher/administration ration of 1:1. Yes, that means that for every dollar spent in the classroom another is spent somewhere outside of the classroom; or put another way, only half of education spending is spent in the classroom. According to data collected by Texas Conservative Coalition Research Insititute, if we were to just change this ration to three teachers for every two administrators then we could save the state of Texas over $3 billion!
In addition to taking us a step closer to a balance budget, this adjustment of a 3:2 ratio would mean more focus on education and the classroom. Presumably this would most benefit the quality of education that students receive. Administration definitely serves a purpose, but seeing as our state is short on cash I believe that teachers and education should be protected above bureaucracy.