A Closer Look at Budget Cuts in Texas

In the wake of the 2011 decision by the state legislature in Texas to cut $5.4 billion from the state’s public education budget, many nonprofits—organizations that provide critical support and services to public school students in the state—found themselves without critical financial support.

Doing More With Less? Looking Beyond Public Schools,” a new study from Children at Risk, looked at the impact of those cuts. Using a survey of 51 nonprofits serving public school students and other research, the study found that:

  • More than half (55 percent) of survey respondents reported the budget cuts directly affected their operating budgets. Losses in state funding ranged from $10,000 to $500,000.
  • Nearly two in three nonprofit organizations (62 percent) reported that the cuts to public education affected their ability to deliver services.
  • Almost 75 percent of nonprofits noted increased competition for funding among their counterparts during the 2011-2012 school year.
  • Many organizations found it more difficult to coordinate efforts with public school districts than in previous years.
  • One in four respondents said they are particularly concerned with the decline in resources and programs for at-risk students.

In order to deal with the cuts, respondents said they increased collaboration with other nonprofits; reduced staff positions and/or hours; reduced programs, or eliminated programs from certain campuses or entire school districts; and expanded fundraising efforts.

“Nonprofits provide after-school programs, tutoring, mentoring and support, which are vital services to our children across the state,” said Dr. Bob Sanborn, president and CEO of Children at Risk. “It is imperative we monitor their ability to provide quality and meaningful interventions to school-aged children. …School districts were tremendously impacted by the budget cuts in 2011, as were the nonprofits they work with.”

“Doing More With Less? Looking Beyond Public Schools” was funded with support from the KDK-Harman Foundation and the Kathryn & Beau Ross Foundation. The full report is available online.

This story originally appeared in the Afterschool Advocate (Vol. 13, Issue 11).

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