EDUCATION: Public Education

The Brief: Border, Immigration Top Texans' Concerns

A Texas Parks and Wildlife Warden stands next to a 30 caliber rifle as he patrols the Rio Grand on the U.S.-Mexico border , Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.
A Texas Parks and Wildlife Warden stands next to a 30 caliber rifle as he patrols the Rio Grand on the U.S.-Mexico border , Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Mission, Texas. Texas is spending $1.3 million a week for a bigger DPS presence along the border.

Border security and immigration top the list of concerns in Texas, according to the most recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Texas Takes Last Pass at Social Studies Textbooks

State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.
State Board of Education members work their way through proposed revisions to social studies textbooks at a meeting with publishers in Austin on Monday, October 20, 2014.

In a month, the State Board of Education will take a final vote on the social studies textbooks that will be used in the state's public schools for the next eight years. 

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.