(AUSTIN) — Newly released scores on state assessments highlight the dedication of students, parents, teachers and other educators over the past year amid challenging circumstances.

Additional investments in Texas classrooms will fuel more significant gains, said leaders of the Texas School Alliance (TSA), which represents 45 of the largest school districts in Texas.

“It’s important for Texans to view these scores in their proper context,” said TSA Executive Director HD Chambers. “Over the past year, Texas schools have worked to overcome severe shortages of teachers, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and all of the other people who make school possible each day. Our schools are stretching limited dollars further and further as they cope with rising everyday costs.”

While costs have been rising, funding for public schools has been stagnant. According to Education Week, Texas spends $4,000 less per-pupil than that national average. Despite a historic budget surplus this year, legislators chose not to increase the Basic Allotment, which is the core unit of funding that pays for public education in Texas. Legislators also did not pass a pay raise for Texas teachers.

“Texas students need more support from our elected state leaders,” Chambers said. “Our schools are doing very well with limited resources. There are many steps that schools can take to improve performance on state tests, but additional funding must be part of the equation.”

Chambers added, “State assessments are important, but they are only one way to evaluate our schools. A test like STAAR does not provide the full picture of how well a school is performing.”