Putting public school debt in perspective
Texas school districts owe $108 billion – that means we Texans owe 108 times $1 billion. So just how much is a billion?
Here is something to put that number in perspective:
· A billion seconds ago it was 1959 and Dwight D. Eisenhower was President.
· A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
· A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.
The $108 billion figure includes the $63.6 billion principal (up from $38 billion in 2005) and $44 billion in interest we owe across the state of Texas just for Texas school districts. You may hear that the legislature failed to fund student enrollment growth. What you do not hear is that over ten years, education expenditures have grown at a rate of five times faster than student enrollment growth.
According to the Texas Bond Review Board, the $108 school district debt, coupled with the city, county, and other local taxing entities, totals an alarming $322 billion in local government debt in Texas.
That’s well over $4,000 owed by every Texan, or $22,700 per student currently in the government school system in Texas.
While we all want a bright future for our children and future generations, we are saddling them with unprecedented debt.
What some advocates of more spending and higher debt claim to do “for the children” is actually a burden we are doing to the children.
We are leaving our children and future generations with a legacy of debt, not the legacy most of us want to leave them.