AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Legislature's $5-plus billion in 2011 cuts to public education mean that Texas' classroom funding still lags behind its pre-Great Recession levels due to booming enrollment growth - with low-income students hit hardest.
That's the conclusion of a report released Thursday by University of Texas professor Michael Marder and Chandra Villanueva, of the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities.
They found that, despite increased funding more recently, bringing 2016's public education funding levels up to 2008's would require an extra $3.2 billion.
That meant middle schools spent $268 per-student less and high schools spent $428 less.
Also since 2008, elementary schools with the highest percentage of low-income students cut spending on programs for youngsters falling behind their peers by 21 percent. Those schools' bilingual education program funding fell 40 percent.