EDUCATION: Public Education

For Public Schools, What to Watch in Next Session

Texas lawmakers return in January with a new governor who touts public schools as a top priority, and plenty of money in the state bank account. But that doesn’t mean everything will go smoothly as the 84th Legislature navigates public education policy.

Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.
Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.

The Brief: Dec. 12, 2014

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed Thursday below $60, "a level of great psychological significance," according to the Washington Post, and a price not seen in five years.

The Brief: Dec. 12, 2014

Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.
Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed Thursday below $60, "a level of great psychological significance," according to the Washington Post, and a price not seen in five years.

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News App: The Texas Public Schools Database

The Brief: Dec. 11, 2014

A Pre-Kinder student works to learn syllables and word identification in his class, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School, in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
A Pre-Kinder student works to learn syllables and word identification in his class, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School, in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

A couple of popular government programs for children — one helping with early education and the other providing health care — are facing funding questions.

Texas Loses Bid for Federal Pre-K Funding

Pre-kindergarten students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District's Cesar Chavez Learning Center.
Pre-kindergarten students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District's Cesar Chavez Learning Center.

Texas will not receive a share of $250 million in federal funding marked to help states expand preschool programs, the U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday.

The Brief: Nov. 19, 2014

House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.
House Speaker Joe Straus is shown on Sept. 20, 2014, during an interview at The Texas Tribune Festival.

Despite his challenger's vow to take a speaker vote to the floor on the first day of session, backers of House Speaker Joe Straus spent Tuesday trying to demonstrate the race is already a foregone conclusion.

Common Core Stymies Vote on New Textbooks

State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill questions textbook publishers on the contents of their publications at a meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.
State Board of Education Chair Barbara Cargill questions textbook publishers on the contents of their publications at a meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.

After wrangling over the proper definition of jihad and the influence of Moses on the Founding Fathers, the State Board of Education’s initial vote on new social studies textbooks was ultimately derailed by Common Core. 

The Brief: Nov. 18, 2014

State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.
State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.

A new controversy could crop up this week as the State Board of Education is expected to adopt new social studies textbooks.

The Brief: Nov. 17, 2014

As authorities arrive in LaPorte to find what caused the methyl mercaptan gas leak that killed four DuPont plant workers on Saturday, information is emerging about the safety record of the plant.

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.

Texas Approves New Social Studies Texts — With Changes

State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.
State Board of Education Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff leafs through binders at the meeting listing proposed changes to Texas textbooks in a SBOE meeting in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014 .Textbook publishers were invited to meeting where public concerns regarding their textbooks were discussed.

The State Board of Education voted to adopt a new list of social studies textbooks Friday morning, following a week of intense debate and hundreds of pages of updates and corrections.

Publisher Pulls Textbook From SBOE Consideration

The new U.S. history framework is the first of what will be updates to all 34 AP subjects offered as a result of a redesign effort launched by the College Board in 2006.
The new U.S. history framework is the first of what will be updates to all 34 AP subjects offered as a result of a redesign effort launched by the College Board in 2006.

A major publisher has decided to withdraw a social studies textbook under consideration for approval in Texas amid ongoing controversy over last-minute content changes.