Education News

Texas’ Spending On Higher Ed Has Yet To Recover From Great Recession, Pew Report Finds

The state is one of 40 whose spending on higher education has yet to return to pre-2008 levels.


Students at a graduation ceremony.

This month marks ten years since the Great Recession officially ended. But there are some ways in which Texas still bears its scars.

According to a new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, nearly half of all states are still spending less than they were before the Great Recession, because their tax revenues are still lagging. And while Texas is doing better than most, it has yet to recover in some key areas. It's among 40 states in which higher education funding hasn't returned to pre-downturn levels.

"Texas's financial support per student for higher education was down 23 percent in fiscal 2018 compared with fiscal 2008, which was just before the effects of the Great Recession. That is after adjusting for inflation," said Barb Rosewicz, director of the Pew Charitable Trusts' Fiscal 50 Project.

The Pew report also shows Texas spent 21.8 percent of its revenue on Medicaid in fiscal 2018, compared to 14.1 percent in fiscal 2016. It's fallen significantly behind in terms of setting aside money for public pensions over the same time frame. Both developments leave Texas with less money to spend on other policy priorities, such as education.


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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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