Making Texas Public Education More Efficient: Taxpayer Savings Grant Program

Published March 8, 2013

This Policy Brief summarizes past research and presents new analysis showing how a proposal called the Taxpayer Savings Grant Program (TSGP) would enable the state of Texas to comply with its constitutional mandate to “establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”

The TSGP would reimburse parents and legal guardians for “the amount of actual tuition costs or sixty percent of the state average per-pupil maintenance and operations expenditure, whichever is less.” Approximately 321,000 students would use savings grants in the first year saving taxpayers some $561 million. Savings in the first biennial budget would be $1.3 billion. In subsequent years savings would grow, so that over the course of 12 years, using extremely conservative estimates, taxpayers would save $22.8 billion.

Students would benefit as well. Other school choice programs around the country have demonstrated how choice improves student achievement, retention, and other outcomes. Parents and teachers will be happier. The Taxpayer Savings Grant Program would solve the problems identified by plaintiffs in the court case pending against the state by using markets to make the state’s school system more efficient, by reducing the cost of education while increasing its quality.