(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
Health care has already been putting a squeeze on other forms of state spending. K-12 won’t be spared indefinitely. Handy pie charts from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts:
If you want to see why Texas leaders deregulated tuition back in 2003, keep an eye on the green “All Other” slice shrinking from 41.1% of the budget to a projected mere 27.7% in 2023. Ooops- you can’t charge tuition to prisoners and well criminal justice has to fit into that green slice along with transportation, universities and a whole bunch of other stuff. Texas universities set a good example for the rest of the country more than a decade ago by planning for a post-state funding world.
Now look at the blue K-12 slice- 44.9% of the budget in 2001 moves to a projected 37.4% in 2023. That doesn’t look all that bad until you consider what will be happening in terms of student and elderly population trends:
So that shrinking % of the budget for K-12 will need to cover a K-12 system that has almost a million more students in 2025 than in 2015. That’s what happens when you add a 100,000 or so new students in your K-12 system per year. Oh, and by the way, the Census Bureau projects a doubling of the elderly population between 2010 and 2030 to boot.
So what does Texas have to fear from parental choice again?