Many Texans are poor, not because they don't work, but because their work pays too little to raise a family out of poverty. To ensure economic prosperity, Texas public policy must support work, make work pay, and help families build their assets. The most important thing the state can do to enhance economic opportunity is to invest in public education—from early childhood education all the way through higher education.

Recent Economic Opportunity Publications

Texas Must Invest in Human Capital: Dallas Business Journal (12/27/2004)

Recently in an interview with the Dallas Business Journal, the Governor touted the superior business climate of our state. He cited our relatively low taxes, tort reform, and the Enterprise Fund as magnets for business.

Latest Data Show Texas Working Families Falling Further Behind Other Americans (09/5/2004)

A new analysis shows just how Texans and their families are doing in wages and employment compared to the average American working family. The news is not good; by many measures, Texas workers trail the national average and are falling further behind.

2004 State of Texas Children Website (06/13/2004)

Texas Fragile Families Final Evaluation Report: Executive Summary (05/1/2004)

After three years of documenting the progress of community organizations participating in the TFF demonstration, Texas' efforts have provided an in-depth look into one incarnation of the new American family. To read the full report, go to

Testimony to Joint Select Committee on Governor's School Finance (04/19/2004)

I am Scott McCown,testifying on behalf of the Center for Public Policy Priorities. The center is interested in public school finance because education is the pathway to prosperity for low-income Texans. My personal expertise in school finance comes from having presided as a state district judge over our state's school finance cases from 1990-2002.

Governor's School Finance Proposal Uses Flawed Revenue Sources, Reduces Future Funding for State Services, Diminishes School Funding Equity (04/15/2004)

On April 8, as the final installment of his Educational Excellence and Equity Plan, the governor proposed to eliminate "Robin Hood" and dedicate a portion of any future budget surplus to property tax cuts, funded by slot machines, cigarette tax hikes, accounting changes, and fees on adult entertainment. Without the recapture provisions of the current school finance system, the gap between rich and poor schools would explode.

The Solution, if Robin Hood Was a TAKS Problem (04/3/2004)

The Houston Independent School District is misleading parents and taxpayers when it blames Robin Hood for the district's money woes. For example, a recent posting on HISD's Web site claims it is losing $28 million and 124 jobs because of Robin Hood.

Don't Shortchange Public Education (03/30/2004)

Our state is in the grip of a mental illness akin to anorexia nervosa, the relentless pursuit of thinness. Like an anorexic, who reasons that every calorie is a bad calorie, Texans reason that every tax dollar is a bad tax dollar. I invoke this metaphor not to belittle anorexia, which killed one of my cousins, but to warn that our relentless pursuit of low taxes is as sick and as dangerous.

How Much Does Texas Spend on Public Education? (03/1/2004)

The first question many people ask about public school finance seems like the simplest: how much does Texas spend to educate our 4.2 million school children? The answer is important in the current debate about how to raise and distribute money for public education. Before we can decide whether we need to spend more, we have to know how much we are spending now.

Fast Facts About Texas Public School Finance (01/15/2004)

A short reference on public school finance in Texas.

Where Do We Go From Here? Finding a School Finance Solution (01/1/2004)

Presentation before the Texas Association of School Administrators.

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