State lawmakers would spend $3.2 billion for public education and $2 billion for water funding under plans being worked out by budget leaders, House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts said Tuesday.Full Story
More tax dollars are spent on public education than on any other governmental program in the state. Public elementary and secondary education in Texas is financed by a combination of state, local, and federal revenue, a system that has produced inequities among the state's 1,030 traditional school districts and 207 charter operators.
As of 2010, more than 4 ...
For this week's nonscientific survey of insiders in government and politics, we asked about the likelihood of special sessions, the issues that might force them and whether there will be multiple such sessions.Full Story
M. Smith on a shock awaiting the state’s fifth- and eighth-graders, E. Smith’s interview with two of Washington’s Gang of Eight, Dehn and Rocha on legislative inquiries into the explosion and fire in West, Ramshaw on state leaders’ apparent disinterest in transparency, KUT’s Philpott explains points of order, Murphy and Ramshaw on the current status of ethics bills, Hamilton finds that not all college degrees are equal, Galbraith on the budget and the shale boom, Batheja on the Legislature’s do-over votes, Aguilar on a Texas application for more border drones: The best of our best for the week of April 29-May 3, 2012.
Some critics of Texas' largely subjective state teacher evaluations want them to include more emphasis on measures of student performance like standardized exams. But with support among lawmakers to scale back testing, those efforts have hit a roadblock.Full Story
More than 80,000 fifth-graders and 60,000 eighth-graders in the state are at risk of being held back this year because of poor performance on state standardized tests under a Texas law banning social promotion.Full Story
The best way to finance Texas' pressing water and transportation needs — and to supplement spending on public education — is to let voters decide whether to use the state's Rainy Day Fund.Full Story
Some parents and advocacy organizations say the state’s truancy laws are too harsh. The Senate passed a bill last week to change these laws, compromising with judges and district officials who said the reforms were too broad.Full Story
Aaronson tracks the latest on Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on lawmakers’ openness to driving permits for non-citizens, Batheja on surprising support for higher state spending, Root and Galbraith on the state’s search for answers after the West explosion, M. Smith covers the debate over high school standards, Grissom finds a shadow payroll at the Capitol, Hamilton on the man with a plan at UT, Rocha spots a special deal for lawmakers accused of crimes, KUT’s Philpott on obstacles to road funding and Ramshaw on the privileges of legislative membership: The best of our best for the week of April 15-19, 2013.Full Story
A couple of Democrats won election in 2012 talking about education, but that doesn't mean the issue was a silver bullet for the minority party. Lots of others talked about it and lost, and the two who won were victorious in districts favorable to them.Full Story
The Rainy Day Fund has been used for public education before and should be used for it now — to reverse drastic cuts made in education spending during the 2011 legislative session.Full Story
Polls might show a low interest in public education cuts made by lawmakers in 2011, but some of the candidates who ran in 2012 found a very receptive electorate.Full Story
For this week's nonscientific survey of insiders in government and politics, we asked about standardized tests in schools, about graduation requirements and about whether the tests should be given in private schools that get state money.Full Story
Batheja on a House budget without vouchers or Medicaid expansion, Aguilar on obstacles to a new power plant in El Paso, Permenter on deer breeder regulations, E. Smith’s interview with San Antonio’s Castro twins, Galbraith on proposals for new underground water reservoirs, Root finds holes in a UT regent's appointment files, M. Smith on a planned school rating system that defied recommendations, Murphy maps oil and gas disposal wells in Texas, Dehn on objections to a bigger Medicaid program and Hamilton on efforts to lure gun makers to Texas: The best of our best for the week of April 1-5, 2013.Full Story
Polling over the last two years from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune suggests that education has not become more salient to Texas voters, nor have perceptions of school quality suffered significantly.Full Story
With eight weeks to go in the legislative session, lawmakers got a running start at their big issues: water, education and the budget.Full Story
Getting rid of standardized tests in public education would make it impossible to find out whether students have mastered the basics or acquired the skills necessary for success. Tests are the best way to measure results for students.Full Story
Texas outspends every state in the nation on testing and leads in the number of tests it requires students to pass to graduate from high school. But that has not translated to a lead in students' education performance.Full Story
The automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester could hit special education and programs for low-income students hardest. And state lawmakers are unlikely to come up with cash to fill the federal hole.Full Story
The $193.8 billion budget approved by the House Appropriations Committee includes an extra $2.5 billion for public education. The bill is smaller than the Senate budget by about $1.7 billion.Full Story