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### Abbott’s Voucher Advocacy Amid Texas’ 41st Public Education Funding Ranking

Texas is identified as one of the states with the lowest levels of funding for public education, ranking 41st in the nation according to a recent report. Governor Greg Abbott is implicated in redirecting funds from a Pennsylvania billionaire towards the defunding of public schools.

A comprehensive evaluation conducted by researchers from the Albert Shanker Institute, the University of Miami, and Rutgers University scrutinized the state’s educational finance systems. The findings revealed that 60% of students in chronically underfunded districts nationwide are concentrated in merely 10 states, with Texas being among them. Despite being classified as a medium fiscal effort state with the capacity to tackle the issue, Texas falls short in its efforts.

The assessment also compared how states currently fund public education against the funding required to achieve average test scores. Alarmingly, over 91% of Texas public school students attend schools that are inadequately funded, positioning Texas at a discouraging 44th place in terms of sufficient funding.

Governor Abbott’s recent acceptance of a $6 million donation from Jeff Yass, a prominent advocate of school vouchers, has raised concerns. Zeph Capo, president of the Texas American Federation of Teachers, criticized the governor’s actions, questioning the rationale behind diverting crucial finances from public schools, which play a pivotal role in local communities and serve as significant employers across Texas.

The report concludes by urging states with the capacity, like Texas, to augment funding for public schools, refine funding allocation strategies, and eliminate counterproductive policies that hinder educational progress.

Capo emphasized the urgent need to prioritize public school funding over catering to affluent out-of-state donors, emphasizing the importance of empowering schools, educators, and the youth for the betterment of Texas’ future—a responsibility that state leaders have yet to fulfill adequately.