When discussing education improvements, emphasize more than just funding

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Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis shakes hands with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott after participating in the Rio Grande Valley Gubernatorial Debate in Edinburg, Texas on Friday. 
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis shakes hands with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott after participating in the Rio Grande Valley Gubernatorial Debate in Edinburg, Texas on Friday. 

Public education is a major talking point for Texas' gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial candidates during their races, but the rhetoric often centers around the general goal of funding, while candidates should also emphasize other methods of improving education that don't necessitate an increase in funds. More money for education is a noble goal and is obviously essential to an extent, but instead of focusing so much energy on the financial side of education, legislators should balance this focus with finding methods to improve education without spending more money.

One such method is prioritizing parents' involvement in their children's schools. I understand that for many working parents, devoting a large amount of time to their children’s school activities isn't entirely feasible, but schools should do everything possible to work with parents to develop flexible ways that would get them more involved. Higher parental involvement, which consistently leads to students performing better in school, doesn't require much change in funding — just a change in priorities.

Also, teachers should have a larger role in determining how the state allocates its education budget because even the most experienced education committees cannot fully understand all the challenges of being a teacher. Only two of the eleven members of the Texas House Public Education Committee have been teachers. An increase in school funding would be great, but other, non-monetary methods of education improvement are just as important.