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

At Convention, Romney Booed, Dewhurst Gets Some Cheers

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst points at a delegate that interrupted his speech at the Texas Republican Convention on June 8, 2012.
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst points at a delegate that interrupted his speech at the Texas Republican Convention on June 8, 2012.

After some at the GOP state convention booed Thursday at Gov. Rick Perry's mention of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, he got a mostly positive reception Friday during his own speech. That wasn't the case for Mitt Romney, whose name drew jeers from the audience during a speech from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Perry to GOP Convention: I'm Not Riding Into Sunset

Gov. Rick Perry on May 29, 2012, watching television returns after speaking at the party for Charles Schwertner's victory in the Texas Senate race for District 5.
Gov. Rick Perry on May 29, 2012, watching television returns after speaking at the party for Charles Schwertner's victory in the Texas Senate race for District 5.

Gov. Rick Perry, speaking at the state’s Republican convention on Thursday, fueled speculation that he’ll run for re-election, saying he was “not riding into the sunset” but “mounting up for the next operation.”

UT's Reform-Minded Chairman at Center of Controversy

UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell asks the Board to support Chancellor Dr. Franciso Cigarroa at their Austin meeting on May 12, 2011.
UT Board of Regents Chairman Gene Powell asks the Board to support Chancellor Dr. Franciso Cigarroa at their Austin meeting on May 12, 2011.

Gene Powell, chairman of the UT System's board of regents, has drawn lots of attention. The latest commotion surrounds a report — which he denies — that he asked the chancellor to recommend the firing of UT-Austin's president.

Life After Scott

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott answers questions at TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011
Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott answers questions at TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011
Texas Weekly

Texas Education Agency chief Robert Scott’s resignation Tuesday didn't come as a huge surprise to the education community. But that doesn't mean speculation about his replacement — and the future of the agency — won't run rampant.