EDUCATION: Public Education

Texas Schools Face Fears of Ebola, Lagging Attendance

Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (red) attached and budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (blue) (25,000x magnification).
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (red) attached and budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (blue) (25,000x magnification).

Though Texas schools are relying on the guidance of health officials to determine the level of risk to their communities, they are making decisions like whether to cancel classes, give notice to parents, or change health screening policies largely on their own.

Details Yet to Emerge in Patrick's Tax Proposal

Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, is shown at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.
Dan Patrick, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, is shown at the Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth on June 7, 2014.

Dan Patrick, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, has made clear that he wants to lower property taxes. What he has left unclear — both to voters and to prominent business groups that have endorsed him — is exactly how he'll do that.

Lawmakers Might Address Graduation Hurdles

Students in Yvonne McDaniel's English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, class participated in English-language exercises during summer school at McCallum High School in Austin on July 31, 2013.
Students in Yvonne McDaniel's English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, class participated in English-language exercises during summer school at McCallum High School in Austin on July 31, 2013.

If roughly 47,000 high school seniors in December fail to pass the state exams required to earn a diploma, their last shot at graduating with their peers in the Class of 2015 may depend on the quick movement of state lawmakers.

AG to Appeal School Finance Ruling to Supreme Court

District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.
District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin is shown in his courtroom on Feb. 4, 2013, before he ruled that the state's school finance system was unconstitutional.

UPDATED: Attorney General Greg Abbott will appeal a ruling that the Texas school finance system is unconstitutional, according to a notice his office sent Friday to attorneys in the case. The appeal is set to go directly to the Texas Supreme Court.

SBOE Members Question Teacher Prep Requirements

Science educator Barbara Cargill of The Woodlands speaks to the Senate Nominations Committee about her nomination as chair of the State Board of Education on Feb. 11, 2013.
Science educator Barbara Cargill of The Woodlands speaks to the Senate Nominations Committee about her nomination as chair of the State Board of Education on Feb. 11, 2013.

State Board of Education members said Thursday that they hoped to persuade regulators overseeing the teaching profession to reconsider a decision made against raising the minimum GPA for educator certification programs.