TexanEducation and the Local, State, and Federal Governments
Theauthority to oversee schooling has always been the concern of thestate governments (Gottfried,Stecher, Hoover, and Cross 3).To a larger extent, the local authorities and the states contributethe bigger portion of education funding. In Texas, the local schooldistricts and the state are responsible for ensuring that all schoolgoing children get access to elementary education. The Texan hybridsystem not only brings to bear the issue of whether education meritsfederal, state, or local government attention, but also the level ofgovernment that has the most regulatory influence in the educationsector.
Althoughthe federal government provides funding to the state of Texas, thestate government plays the greatest role in managing the educationsector. For an extended period, the state government of Texas hasstruggled with funding public education (Brown,Langenegger, and Garcia 471).The government usually confines its activities to instituting theminimum standards and affording schools the necessary levels offinancial support. The state government and school districts usuallysplit the costs of three essentials: operating expenses, salaries,and transportation.
Inaddition to the above, the quality of education at the communitylevel is usually dependent on property value and the type ofstudents. The taxable market value of real estate within the schooldistrict determines the local funding of the education system becauseproperty taxes determine whether schools can fund the projects thatgo beyond the minimum level that the state provides. (Brown,Langenegger, and Garcia 471).Additionally, the types of students, the typical daily attendance ofpupils, and the prevailing economic conditions in a district affectthe state’s share of resources. The Foundation SchoolProgram sets the minimum state-level support for education. TheGilmer-Aiken Law was passed in 1949 it was intended to set a minimumstate-level support for each public school student in Texas (Brown,Langenegger, and Garcia 471).The law led to the establishment of the Foundation School Program.The funds to finance the Program are usually allocated to eacheducational institution from the Foundation School Fund. The money tofund this fund is sourced from four resources: the Available SchoolFund, the School Taxing Ability Protection Fund, the Texas Lottery,and the General Revenue Fund.
Inthe past, the local school boards established the administrative andeducational policies. However, the courts, legislature, and the TEA(Texas Education Agency) have taken over the policy implementationresponsibility. The SBOE (State Board of Education) acts as thepolicy-making organization for the TEA. The SBOE is responsible forimplementing the policies that have been established by law, andoverseeing the TEA as it supervises and regulates the Texan publicschools (Maxwell,Crain, and Santos 250).The body administers both the national and the state education law,in addition to the SBOE regulations.
Inlight of the above revelations, the federal government is the mostpowerful administration, regarding regulatory influence in theeducation sector. The Federal government can impose an obligation onthe state government while providing little or no funds to sustainthe mandated activities (Maxwell,Crain, and Jones 40).Accordingly, the state government of Texas also has the authorizationto require the local governments to institute certain actions withoutproviding the necessary funding. Thus, the local governments have theleast regulatory influence in the education sector.
Ina recap of the above discussion, the issue of whether educationmerits federal, state, or local government attention, in addition tothe level of government that has the most regulatory influence, hasemerged distinctly. The Texan school system integrates all the threetiers of government into one operational system. In essence, thestate has the mandate to oversee public education. However, the localgovernments also play a role in ensuring the successfuladministration of education, as discussed above.
Brown,Lyle, Joyce A. Langenegger, and Sonia R. Garcia. PracticingTexas Politics.15th ed. Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.
Gottfried,Michael A. et al. "Federal And State Roles And Capacity ForImproving Schools." (2011): 3. Web. 16 Oct. 2016.
Maxwell,William Earl, Ernest Crain, and Adolfo Santos. TexasPolitics Today, 2013-2014 Edition.16th ed. Cengage Learning, 2014. Print.
Maxwell,William Earl, Ernest Crain, and Mark Jones. TexasPolitics Today 2015-2016 Edition.Cengage Learning, 2015. Print.