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Why Police Funding Makes Up 40% of Uvalde’s Budget

Scrutiny is turning to law enforcement as the public seeks answers about the deadly school shooting. The small Texas city's police funding model is not an aberration. 

Police officers stand near a makeshift memorial for the shooting victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022. 

Police officers stand near a makeshift memorial for the shooting victims at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 26, 2022. 

Photographer: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP

In the wake of an attack that left 19 children and two teachers dead in Uvalde, Texas, advocates, policymakers and media outlets have repeatedly cited one number: 40%. That’s about how much of Uvalde’s budget is spent on the police department.

“40% of Uvalde’s city budget goes to police. The school district had its own police force. This is what happened,” wrote Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter, linking to a tweet describing officers’ slow response to the shooting.