It seems like prisons are taking precedent over our children's education here in Texas and these 7 facts pulled from the Texas Tribune, although there was room for plenty more, are reasons why you should be paying closer attention to how education is becoming less and less of a trend as it pertains to the government.

  • Texas is the highest in the nation when it comes to prison spending and it has grown about 5 times faster then the rate of spending on elementary and secondary education for the past 3 decades.
  • The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) confirmed that Texas increased prison spending by 850 percent between 1989-2013 versus the rate of funding for Pre-K through Grade 12, which grew by only 182 percent during that same time frame.

*In 2013, Texas spent $41 Billion on schools and $5 Billion on incarceration.

*In other states, money spent on prisons and jails tripled the rate of growth in funding for public K-12 education over the same period.

  • Texas has harsh sentencing laws for, as well as strict enforcement of non-violent offenses, which has quadrupled the incarceration rate.

*U.S. Secretary of Education John King says, "The budget reflects our values," and "This analysis is a reflection of our nations priorities that should be revisited."

Dave Einsel, Getty Images
Dave Einsel, Getty Images
  • Surprisingly, public school funding has been an issue in Texas for a long time. Hundreds of school districts have filed numerous class action lawsuits against the state since 1984.
  • More then two-thirds of the school districts brought the latest case to the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Texas' school funding system and that ended in May with no progression towards fixing the issue. The supreme court ruled in favor of the system and advised state law makers that they should come up with, "Transformational, top-to-bottom reforms that amount to more than Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid". Does anyone know what that means?? It sounds like the Supreme court told the state to just figure it out.
  • Houston State Senator, John Whitmore says, "They're too many individuals in our county jails who don't belong there because they are poor. We're just wasting millions upon millions of tax payer dollars." So if you're one of those citizens constantly questioning where your tax dollars are being spent, this has been confirmed as one of the places it's going.
  • Marc Levin, director of the Center for Effective Justice at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a think tank located in Austin, said, "Reducing the inmate population would allow the state to redirect funds into needed programs."

Written by Nhayah Goode 

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