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

Texas School Finance Lawsuit Cheat Sheet

Texas' latest round of school finance litigation adds some new players to the courtroom, with interests that are more varied than ever before. We've created a cheat sheet to help you keep all six lawsuits — and the plaintiffs' basic arguments — straight.

San Antonio May Seek Tax to Support Full-Day Pre-K

Teacher Silvia Corado works with students in her pre-kindergarten class as they learn syllables and word identification, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio.
Teacher Silvia Corado works with students in her pre-kindergarten class as they learn syllables and word identification, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School in San Antonio.

An eighth-of-a-cent sales tax increase is being proposed in San Antonio to fund full-day pre-kindergarten for primarily low-income children in the city.

Platform Splinters

Texas Weekly

Though in theory the platform sets forth official positions on topics as diverse as foreign policy and legislative procedure — and as specific as the HIV/AIDS crisis and the federal minimum wage— many officeholders take it as more of a guide than a rulebook.This year, the biggest debate may be not about what the document says, but what it doesn't. 

Defamation Suit Tests Texas' Anti-SLAPP Statute

David Barton, left, of WallBuilders talks with a delegate as he poses for photos at a Texas Eagle Forum reception at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2012.
David Barton, left, of WallBuilders talks with a delegate as he poses for photos at a Texas Eagle Forum reception at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2012.

A defamation lawsuit filed by WallBuilders founder David Barton has become an early test of new tort reform legislation intended to protect free speech.