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

SBOE Blocks Great Hearts Charter School Expansion

Parents look over books and ask questions about curriculum during a parent information session for the new Great Hearts Monte Vista Charter School to open in San Antonio at Temple Beth-El, October 29, 2013.
Parents look over books and ask questions about curriculum during a parent information session for the new Great Hearts Monte Vista Charter School to open in San Antonio at Temple Beth-El, October 29, 2013.

The State Board of Education on Friday denied an Arizona-based charter school's application for a Dallas campus, despite previous approval from the state's education commissioner. 

Education Chairmen Join Algebra II Fray at SBOE

Education bill sponsors Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, l, and Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen chat after the signing of HB 5 education reform on June 10, 2013.
Education bill sponsors Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, l, and Rep. Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen chat after the signing of HB 5 education reform on June 10, 2013.

Two top state lawmakers made an unexpected visit Wednesday evening to urge the State Board of Education to follow their lead on which courses to require in high school graduation plans.

Van de Putte Will Announce Future Plans on Nov. 23

Texas Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, gestures during a dicsussion of her future plans at TribFest closing session on September 29, 2013.
Texas Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, gestures during a dicsussion of her future plans at TribFest closing session on September 29, 2013.

As promised, state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, D-San Antonio, said  she would make a formal annoncement about her future plans on Nov. 23 in an email sent to supporters Friday. She is expected to run for lieutenant governor.

 

 

Dewhurst to Congress: Did NSA Spy on Gun Owners?

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaks to state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, as state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, watches on March 25, 2013.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst speaks to state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, as state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, watches on March 25, 2013.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst on Tuesday called for a congressional investigation into whether the National Security Agency's domestic spying program has ever targeted gun owners, kept a list of firearms purchases or tracked gunshow visits.

Top Academics but Little Diversity at Two New Charters

Parents look over books and ask questions about curriculum during a parent information session for the new Great Hearts Monte Vista Charter School to open in San Antonio at Temple Beth-El, October 29, 2013.
Parents look over books and ask questions about curriculum during a parent information session for the new Great Hearts Monte Vista Charter School to open in San Antonio at Temple Beth-El, October 29, 2013.

Two new charter school operators have come to Texas promising a collegiate atmosphere. But along with their academic goals come extra fees for parents and a record of serving disproportionately affluent and white students.