EDUCATION: Public Education

The Brief: Is There an Endgame on the Border Surge?

Gov. Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw, speak to media following a tour to a federal facility housing unaccompanied alien children in Weslaco, Texas June 23rd, 2014. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to commence surge operations to help combat crime along the border.
Gov. Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw, speak to media following a tour to a federal facility housing unaccompanied alien children in Weslaco, Texas June 23rd, 2014. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to commence surge operations to help combat crime along the border.

State leaders seem reluctant to break out the "Mission Accomplished" banner on the border surge even though apprehensions of illegal immigrants have hit a target goal laid out in July.

With Pre-K Grant, Texas Switches Gears on Federal Cash

Pre-K students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school, Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.
Pre-K students in Josefina Pineda's classroom do the hokey-pokey at the Dallas Independent School District elementary school, Cesar Chavez Learning Center in Dallas, Texas.

In a shift for a state that has shunned other federal education initiatives like Common Core and Race to the Top, Texas will participate in a signature Obama administration program focused on early learning.

The Brief: UT Regents Shut Door on Lawmaker Involvement in Probe

Chairman Gene Powell gavels in the meeting April 10, 2013 where the UT Board of Regents voted to turn over records to lawmakers regarding the Law School Foundation.
Chairman Gene Powell gavels in the meeting April 10, 2013 where the UT Board of Regents voted to turn over records to lawmakers regarding the Law School Foundation.

University of Texas System regents moved quickly Monday to keep two lawmakers from sitting in on interviews conducted by an external investigator into admissions procedures at the system's flagship Austin campus.

Texas Schools Get Military Gear Through Federal Program

Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.
Austin Police Officer Cory Ehrler monitors the entrance to Ridgetop Elementary School after classes start on the Monday following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. As the 83rd legislative session approaches, Texas lawmakers are considering making firearms more available to teachers and other school personnel.

At least 10 Texas school districts have received armored plating, tactical vests, military vehicles, rifles, pistols and rounds of ammunition through a federal military surplus program.

Moody's: School Finance Ruling is "Credit Positive"

After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.
After a trial that lasted more than three months, Judge John Dietz ruled in February that the state's school finance system is unconstitutional.

Moody's Investors Service described a judge's declaration of the state's school finance system as unconstitutional as a “credit positive,” saying the ruling would compel Texas lawmakers to “redesign the school finance system.”

Texplainer: What's State's Strategy in School Finance Case?

Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.
Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.

Hey, Texplainer: I know the state plans to appeal a judge's recent decision that Texas' school finance system is unconstitutional. But what will the state's defense be moving forward? 

In School Finance Battle, Legal Fees Accumulate

Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.
Shelley Dahlberg, an assistant attorney general, spoke to District Court Judge John Dietz of Austin on on Feb. 3, 2013, during closing arguments of a trial challenging the state's school finance system.

Texas school districts will have accumulated a legal tab of over $8.5 million in the course of challenging the state's school finance system — a sum that the state will have to pay if they prevail. 

The Brief: Three Views on Where Wendy Goes From Here

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, speaks to media during a campaign stop at East Austin restaurant Juan in a Million on May 6th, 2014
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, speaks to media during a campaign stop at East Austin restaurant Juan in a Million on May 6th, 2014

Following the revelation that Wendy Davis had two abortions performed for medical reasons more than 15 years ago, the question pursued over the weekend was how this would affect the dynamics of the race for governor.

New in Trib+Edu: Teens Need Their Sleep

In this week's edition of the Trib+Edu newsletter: pediatricians push for later school start times, a study on the impact of tough math and science classes on dropout rates and an interview with Catherine Clark, formerly of the Texas Association of School Boards.

Van de Putte Hits Patrick on School Finance Votes

State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.
State Sens. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and Dan Patrick, R-Houston, will face off against each other in the general election for lieutenant governor.

Leticia Van de Putte, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, said Wednesday that her GOP opponent, Dan Patrick, was “rewriting history” by taking credit for the restoration of some education funding cuts. Patrick's campaign hit back at the criticism.

Judge: Texas School Finance System 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.
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.

Nearly three years after more than 600 Texas school districts filed litigation challenging the state's school finance system, a Travis County district judge has ruled in their favor.