Morgan Smith Reporter

Morgan Smith reports on politics and education for the Tribune, which she joined in November 2009. She writes about the effects of the state budget, school finance reform, accountability and testing in Texas public schools. Her political coverage has included congressional and legislative races, as well as Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign, which she followed to Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2013, she received a National Education Writers Association award for "Death of a District," a series on school closures. After earning a bachelor's degree in English from Wellesley College, she moved to Austin in 2008 to enter law school at the University of Texas. A San Antonio native, her work has also appeared in Slate, where she spent a year as an editorial intern in Washington D.C.

Recent Contributions

Gun Advocates Take Up — and Make — Arms at Texas Capitol

Activists who support a legislative proposal that would lift the state's handgun licensing requirements stand outside the state Capitol on the opening day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.
Activists who support a legislative proposal that would lift the state's handgun licensing requirements stand outside the state Capitol on the opening day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.

As Texas lawmakers convened for the first day of the 2015 legislative session Tuesday, about a dozen activists carrying a variety of firearms gathered in front of the state Capitol to protest gun laws.

 

Education Chairman Calls for School Finance Discussion

Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen listens to HB5 debate in House on March 26th, 2013. There are currently 165 amendments to the bill and debate is expected to go well into the night
Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen listens to HB5 debate in House on March 26th, 2013. There are currently 165 amendments to the bill and debate is expected to go well into the night

State Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, the chairman of the House Public Education Committee, says Texas lawmakers shouldn't wait for the outcome of a sprawling school finance lawsuit to discuss changes to the state's public education funding system.

Texas Loses Bid for Federal Pre-K Funding

Pre-kindergarten students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District's Cesar Chavez Learning Center.
Pre-kindergarten students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District's Cesar Chavez Learning Center.

Texas will not receive a share of $250 million in federal funding marked to help states expand preschool programs, the U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday.

Texas Approves New Social Studies Texts — With Changes

State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.
State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.

The State Board of Education voted to adopt a new list of social studies textbooks Friday morning, following a week of intense debate and hundreds of pages of updates and corrections.