New Report Defines ‘Thriving’ Public Schools in Texas


May 13, 2024


New Report Defines ‘Thriving’ Public Schools in Texas

As school districts announce layoffs & program cuts, Texas AFT set to release report on the public education system that Texas’ record-breaking budget can and should buy.

AUSTIN, Texas — The 88th legislative session was a lost session for Texas public schools, left once again without any increase to state funding for the second session in a row. The 89th legislative session could be the death knell for public education in this state.

As school districts announce mass layoffs and pass deficit budgets, the Texas American Federation of Teachers has released the third in a series of reports about the public school system that could and should be possible. In Thrive Together: A Vision for Texas Schools, from Pre-K to Post-Doc, the statewide union for teachers and public school employees describes in detail the services, support, and investments needed to improve student outcomes and retain highly qualified, certified educators in Texas schools.

In two previous reports — The Lost Decade (2022) and Fully Funded, Fully Respected: The Path to Thriving Texas Schools (2023) — Texas AFT and the nonprofit think tank Every Texan quantified Texas’ underfunding of its schools and put a price tag on what full funding means. This third report in the series shows what that money could buy, from universal pre-K access to community colleges and universities funded to meet Texas’ own stated goals.

The report release on Monday coincides with a letter sent by 39 state representatives, demanding Gov. Greg Abbott call an immediate special legislative session to pass an education funding package in response to “the school budget crisis unfolding statewide.”

The governor has publicly refused to take responsibility for his part in last year’s legislative failure to increase state funding for public education, but his fingerprints are all over the current crisis.

“Our public schools are struggling to survive,” said Zeph Capo, president of Texas AFT. “Every layoff, every school closure, every student service cut – that’s Gov. Abbott’s handiwork. It’s the failed policy of a Legislature that’s left our schools without any funding increase since 2019. What we’re seeing is Abbott’s Elementary.”



The Texas American Federation of Teachers represents 66,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state. Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO.

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