Earlier this week, the Dallas Morning News ran a piece on home-rule schools in Texas, characterizing potential changes to home-rule law as an argument that features conservatives and groups such as TPPF on one side, and teachers and education advocates on the other. In the article, certain groups attempt to align home-rule schools with education budget cuts and calls them a “gimmick” to put pressure on local schools to cut their budgets.
This is far from the truth.
Home-rule schools are designed to increase parental involvement and control in their children’s education, and to give voters more say over how the school district in their town – which is largely funded through their property tax dollars – is run. The discussion on what needs to change in home-rule law should focus on who this is a fight between, but rather on what home-rule schools could do for school districts that choose to go that route.
It should be clear that going to a home-rule school system won’t take a single dollar from those districts. Rather, it will give those districts more freedom to use the dollars they do have to make choices that are best for the specific needs of their student body. Home-rule schools are not an effort to strangle money away from Texas public schools. They’re a way for those schools to maximize their funding, and thus ensure that they are able provide the highest quality education possible, as efficiently as possible.