"We are now at a point where we must educate
our children in what no one knew yesterday, and
prepare our schools for what no one knows yet."
(12/16/1901 to 11/15/1978)
Was Margaret Mead a Visionary with Special Powers to Predict the Future?
From the moment we learned the word COVID-19, and told to lock-down, we experienced challenging moments. After the lock-downs were over for some cities and states, not all state governors, mayors, schools, teachers, and parents embraced the change to go back to school and many were reluctant out of fear. Subsequently, many children remained absent from the classrooms. Absenteeism, as we would learn, had consequences on state funding due to the effect COVID-19 had on daily attendance.
Texas is one of six states that funds schools based on attendance rates, together with California, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi and Missouri. These schools are financially based on attendance rates. Because of absenteeism and COVID-19, schools today face numerous financial struggles. Schools based on attendance rates receive per student funding under the base allotment. Not all schools are suffering but all kids suffer when funding is based on high absenteeism.
"The solution to adult problems tomorrow depends
on large measure upon how our children grow up today."
Not all authority figures worked on cultivating gratitude to get children back to school. Nor did everyone agree. As a result, many schools and classroom desks remained empty as absenteeism did not improve. The cost for absenteeism hurt school districts. For example, Pflugerville ISD, (public schools in Austin, Round Rock, Hutto, Coupland, and Manor), located approximately 183 to 200 miles south from Dallas Fort Worth, lost approximately $1 Million Dollars during the last 12 weeks of the 2021-22 school year.
School attendance is calculated by finding the sum of attendance counts throughout the school year, dividing that by number of days that schools are required to open, per the Texas Education Agency (TEA). However, if a student is frequently absent, there are major consequences because they won't be counted at all. Schools earn $6,160 per student. If adjusted for inflation, the figure is increased to $7,100 per student.
Approximately 433,000 students in Texas were uncounted during the 2020-21 school year and nearly 300,000 were unaccounted in the 2021-2022 school year. The basic allotment is not adjusted for inflation. However, school districts receive funding from local property taxes. Property Owners need to know, just how much they are appreciated for paying property taxes. In Texas, Property Taxes are due by December 31st. Texas school districts, cities and counties rely heavily on property taxes to pay for roads, public schools, firefighters, police, and libraries. For the sake of kids, states, cities, parents, and schools need a safe and healthy environment for children to live up to their full potential without fear.