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

John Folks: The TT Interview

The outspoken head of the state's fourth-largest school district— newly crowned as Superintendent of the Year — on school finance lawsuits, the impact of cuts to public education funding and the upcoming transition to end-of-course exams. 

Liveblog: The Dartmouth Debate

The moderators and Republican candidates are introduced at the Dartmouth Debates in Hanover, NH on October 11, 2011.
The moderators and Republican candidates are introduced at the Dartmouth Debates in Hanover, NH on October 11, 2011.

Everyone agrees: there's a lot at stake tonight for Gov. Rick Perry. The Bloomberg/Washington Post debate may be his last chance to reverse his dragging momentum after past performances left the impression he lacked the policy chops to take on President Barack Obama. We're liveblogging the action here.

School Finance Suit Takes Shape

Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio
Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio
Texas Weekly

Within the education community, there have been rumors about a possible school finance lawsuit since well before the legislative session got under way. Now, with $4 billion less in public funding and a daunting new student assessment program on the horizon, those rumors have become a reality.

Texas Still Undecided on No Child Left Behind Waiver

Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott speaks at the TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011
Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott speaks at the TASA midwinter conference in Austin, Texas February 1st, 2011

Despite more details from the Obama administration today about how it would exempt states from complying with the law's signature requirements, the Texas Education Agency has yet to decide whether it will apply for a waiver on federal accountability requirements under the 2001 act.

Smith Eyes a Return

Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett (center with glasses) at the State of the Judiciary speech in the House chamber on February 23, 2011.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett (center with glasses) at the State of the Judiciary speech in the House chamber on February 23, 2011.
Texas Weekly

Austin lawyer and anti-affirmative-action advocate Steven Wayne Smith is planning a return to the Texas Supreme Court.