EDUCATION: Public Education

Senators Discuss Funding of National Guard Deployment

Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.
Sen. Jane Nelson R-Flower Mound, is shown listening to testimony during a Health and Human Services committee hearing on Feb. 19, 2013. Nelson was named chairwoman of the Senate Finance Committee in July 2014.

At a state Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, senators debated the merits and tactical strategies of Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to send Texas National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Van de Putte Calls for Reducing High-Stakes Testing

State Sen. and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte at the Democratic state convention on June 27, 2014.
State Sen. and Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Leticia Van de Putte at the Democratic state convention on June 27, 2014.

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, calls for reducing high-stakes testing in a new plan for Texas schools. The campaign of her Republican opponent, Dan Patrick, said the plan would do nothing to help turn around underperforming schools.

With Uncertainty, Schools Prepare for New Arrivals

On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.
On June 24, 2014, volunteers gather at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, where the Rio Grande Valley Catholic Charities have a makeshift shelter to help handle the surge of immigrants who have crossed into the U.S. in recent weeks.

Many unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America remain in Texas, and public school administrators face the challenge of providing an education for them.

Williams Discusses Decision to Approve Charter

Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams answers a question at TribLive on Jan. 10, 2013.
Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams answers a question at TribLive on Jan. 10, 2013.

UPDATED: Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams told State Board of Education members Wednesday that said that when he approved a charter school's expansion into the Dallas area, he was following the spirit of a 2013 law. 

As Teacher Pay Lags, Attrition and Class Size Grow

A study released by Sam Houston State University in October 2013 that was commissioned by the Texas State Teachers Association showed a marked increase in teachers reporting that they had taken second jobs during the school year to make ends meet.
A study released by Sam Houston State University in October 2013 that was commissioned by the Texas State Teachers Association showed a marked increase in teachers reporting that they had taken second jobs during the school year to make ends meet.

Stacked up against other states, Texas public schools could win the best-bang-for-your-buck competition. The state spends less than most others, and its students perform better than many. But the commitment to fiscal restraint has come with its own burdens for teachers.

The Brief: Abbott Puts $50M Price Tag on Surge of Child Migrants

Republican Gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Greg Abbott, speaks to crowd at Lavazza Coffee House on Congress Avenue, a few blocks away from Paramount Theater where President Obama was scheduled to speak later in the day. July 10th, 2014
Republican Gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Greg Abbott, speaks to crowd at Lavazza Coffee House on Congress Avenue, a few blocks away from Paramount Theater where President Obama was scheduled to speak later in the day. July 10th, 2014

Attorney General and GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott has put a price tag on the cost to Texas taxpayers of the surge of unaccompanied minors across the border.

Academic Gains Slowing; No Consensus on Why

Texas' improvement on national academic measures has begun to stall in recent years. In 2013, for the first time in 15 years, math and reading scores went down or stayed the same for black and Hispanic students in both fourth and eighth grades. The scores also went down for Anglo students in some areas.
Texas' improvement on national academic measures has begun to stall in recent years. In 2013, for the first time in 15 years, math and reading scores went down or stayed the same for black and Hispanic students in both fourth and eighth grades. The scores also went down for Anglo students in some areas.

Over the last decade, Texas students have made steady progress on a number of academic measures. But in recent years, that improvement has begun to stall.  

TEA Chief Circumvents State Board Charter School Veto

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.

Texas Education Commissioner Michael Williams has effectively overruled a vote by the State Board of Education to deny an Arizona-based charter school's expansion into the Dallas area.