EDUCATION

A Look at How House, Senate Budgets Compare

This week, the House and the Senate named the members of a conference committee that will resolve the differences between the two chambers' budget plans. Here’s a look at how the two proposals compare, with details on some areas where the plans diverge.

Members listen to committee reports at the Board of Regents meeting for The University of Texas System on Feb. 14, 2013.
Members listen to committee reports at the Board of Regents meeting for The University of Texas System on Feb. 14, 2013.

To What Degree Should Regents Get Involved?

Texas law isn't specific about how public university system regents should do their jobs. So regents are largely left to interpret their roles themselves. With some taking a more hands-on approach, debate has grown about the role of regents.

To What Degree Should Regents Get Involved?

Members listen to committee reports at the Board of Regents meeting for The University of Texas System on Feb. 14, 2013.
Members listen to committee reports at the Board of Regents meeting for The University of Texas System on Feb. 14, 2013.

Texas law isn't specific about how public university system regents should do their jobs. So regents are largely left to interpret their roles themselves. With some taking a more hands-on approach, debate has grown about the role of regents.

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Senate Shapes Plan for Private Scholarships

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick listens to debate on SB 8  franchise tax reform measure during Senate action March 25, 2015.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick listens to debate on SB 8 franchise tax reform measure during Senate action March 25, 2015.

In its quest for school choice legislation, the Senate is backing away from traditional vouchers and heading toward a plan that would use donations to fund scholarships for low-income students trying to get out of weak schools. 

Universities Try Again on Construction Funding

University of Texas at Austin students pass by the Main Building on their way to and from classes.
University of Texas at Austin students pass by the Main Building on their way to and from classes.

In 2013, billions of dollars in bonds to pay for new campus buildings slipped through the grasp of state universities and colleges in the session's closing moments. Another bond package is now moving through the chambers, and university leaders hope not to repeat that fate.  

UT Regents Will Let Wallace Hall Review More Documents

UT Regent Wallace Hall on April 28, 2014. Lawmakers admonished and censured Hall, who was waging a personal investigation into lawmaker influence in the UT-Austin admissions process.
UT Regent Wallace Hall on April 28, 2014. Lawmakers admonished and censured Hall, who was waging a personal investigation into lawmaker influence in the UT-Austin admissions process.

The University of Texas System Board of Regents will allow member Wallace Hall to see some data and documents compiled during an outside investigation into outside influence on UT-Austin admissions. 

The Houston Endowment Inc., the Lumina Foundation, and the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation have supported higher education coverage at The Texas Tribune. The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, Sid W. Richardson Foundation, RGK Foundation, Burdine Johnson Foundation, and Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation have supported public education coverage at The Texas Tribune.

School Finance Plan Praised in Capitol Hearing

House Public Education Committee chair Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, on the floor during House Bill 1 debate March 31, 2015.
House Public Education Committee chair Jimmie Don Aycock, R-Killeen, on the floor during House Bill 1 debate March 31, 2015.

A plan to overhaul the state’s public education funding system from a top House lawmaker received largely favorable reviews from school districts during a marathon legislative hearing that ended late Tuesday night.