Free Schools to Create Efficiency
Oct 22, 2012 | 973 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Free Schools to Create Efficiency

Argument made that more choices and more freedom will create a more efficient system of education

AUSTIN, TX—The Texas Association of Business is part of a lawsuit that argues Texas should have a more efficient education system, and with more efficiency, freedom and choices Texas students will be much better served. Arguments began in the 200th Judicial District Court in Travis County with Judge John Dietz presiding

“The Texas Association of Business’s top priority has always been and will always be an educated workforce,” said Bill Hammond, TAB President and CEO. “We need to see that the over $50 billion of taxpayer money that is spent on the public education system is spent in the most efficient manner. This is why we have entered the court case on the side of asking the courts to instruct the legislature to implement real efficiencies into the system.”

The problem according to Hammond is that there are many state laws and regulations today that require or encourage school districts to spend money inefficiently in ways that do not produce results. “It’s our hope that the courts will instruct the legislature to remove these wasteful mandates and create a more efficient and effective system as required by the state’s constitution.”

Hammond said there are areas that lawmakers could consider to increase efficiency and move more decisions on spending money to the local level. “The legislature should look at the cost to Texas students and eliminate many unnecessary employment mandates for teachers and administrators. We also believe that the injection of market forces is a necessary component to efficiency and we therefore hope the state will expand the opportunities for parents and students to exercise educational choice.”

James Jones, President of Texans for Real Efficiency and Equity in Education (TREE), a party and primary funder of the suit, said that he is pleased that TREE could help make the case that efficiency is not just about the funding of our public school system but also how well the system is preparing our children for happy and productive lives. Jones made reference to the movie “Waiting for Superman”, which he said demonstrates “how children are often tragically overlooked while the system’s adult stakeholders fixate on their own interests.” Jones added that “no one cares more about children than their own parents, so parents should be the ones in charge of their kids’ education.”

Hammond urges a court ruling which would instruct lawmakers to stop telling local school administrators how to do their jobs and instead hold them accountable for results. “It is important that school districts have more freedom to spend resources efficiently. At the same time it is important that parents have more choice to place their children in the best educational environment possible, whether that is public, private or charter schools. In a free society taxpayers must be allowed a choice regarding the most important decision in their child’s life.”

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Founded in 1922, the Texas Association of Business is a broad-based, bipartisan organization representing more than 3,000 small and large Texas employers and 200 local chambers of commerce.
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