UPDATED: The State Board of Education will take up the issue of whether school districts can continue to use lessons from a controversial state curriculum system at its September meeting. And the Texas Attorney General's office, along with Education Chairman Dan Patrick, has requested an official state audit of the program.Full Story
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.
Attorney General Greg Abbott's story of adversity has the potential to resonate deeply with voters. But in the past, it has exposed him to criticism from those who say he has battered the legal protections he benefited from for political gain.Full Story
After a report from the State Auditor's Office pointed out flaws in the Texas Education Agency's oversight of a $462 million testing contract, the agency said Tuesday it will "immediately" implement new monitoring guidelines.Full Story
As educators welcome the coming changes in state testing requirements, some school districts are looking ahead at another part of recently passed education reform. The state is expanding the courses that will count toward a high school diploma.Full Story
UPDATED: With a vote of 19-11, the Senate on Friday night sent controversial abortion legislation to Gov. Rick Perry. While the crowd outside of the chamber chanted, there were none of the eruptions inside that helped kill the abortion bill in the first special session.Full Story
When state Sen. Dan Patrick endorsed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst's unsuccessful U.S. Senate bid last year, it helped turn the two men from sometime-rivals into allies. But now, Patrick has become Dewhurst’s fiercest critic among the field of candidates hoping to unseat him.Full Story
Wendy Davis came off the Senate floor early Wednesday as the national Democratic Party's newest star. But what effect her 11-hour filibuster to stop abortion legislation will have on her political prospects in Texas is an open question.Full Story
With the help of a new law, the Dallas Independent School District is designing a program that will funnel money saved when students graduate early into expanding pre-kindergarten offerings.Full Story
After hearing brief arguments on whether to reopen evidence in the school finance case because of laws passed during the legislative session, state district court Judge John Dietz announced Wednesday that a new, six-week trial will begin in January.Full Story
Senators on Tuesday tentatively approved a resolution that aims to solve the state's transportation funding woes by diverting future revenue from the Rainy Day Fund.
Flanked by high school cheerleaders, a rabbi and an off-duty Santa, Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed legislation Thursday clarifying that school districts can acknowledge traditional winter celebrations.Full Story
The former House public education chairman on the politics of education policy in Texas, what's next in the school finance trial and why he doesn't like the word "voucher."Full Story
High school students won't have to retake standardized exams they failed in the six subjects that newly signed House Bill 5 eliminates from the state's testing requirements, the Texas Education Agency announced Wednesday.Full Story
A complaint being filed with the U.S. Department of Justice seeks to declare that a Dallas County court’s process of prosecuting truancy as a crime is unconstitutional. But officials in the county say the initiative has been a model of success.Full Story